The job of an arborist is never easy. In fact, it takes a lot of physical strength and the ability to use complex equipment. It also demands training and knowledge in the areas of forestry, horticulture, and landscape architecture. Apart from this, however, a big part of our job involves providing people with valuable tree care information. In fact, we receive plenty of frequently asked questions from curious and concerned homeowners. That’s why Westcoast Tree Care would like to answer some of the most common and important tree care questions we receive.
Common Tree Care Questions
What’s the Difference between a Landscaper and an Arborist?
Often, people confuse the work of a landscaper with an arborist. That’s why it’s important to understand that these two professions are very different. A landscaper handles all landscape and hardscape installations, lawn irrigation and maintenance. The services they provide often include mulching, mowing, fertilization, and more. The main focus of a landscaper is the aesthetics of a yard.
An arborist, on the other hand, includes arboriculture activities that are focused on tree care. These include tree pruning, tree removal, windsail reduction, deadwood removal, view enhancement, and more. In short, an arborist doesn’t just focus on a single element but strives hard to ensure the trees on your property are healthy and safe.
Is it Ok to Top a Tree?
No. Simply put, topping a tree damages its defense system while destroying its aesthetic beauty and changing its structure forever. In fact, topped trees are actually deemed unsafe and become increasingly hazardous over time. This is because a topped tree has to rely on using stored energy because the top of its canopy is gone. This depletes its stored energy and results in weak branches and attachments. Even more, a topped tree is more prone to disease and insect infestations because its normal state has been disrupted.
When is the Best Time to Prune?
Depending on the species of a tree, winter is often the best time to prune as the wounds left behind from pruning will have time to heal before any spring growth takes place. While dead branches can be removed at any time of the year, pruning is recommended during the winter season to avoid any insect and disease issues.
Do You need to Routinely Prune Trees?
The answer to this questions depends on the species of a tree, its age, health, and structural integrity. Since pruning is half science and half art there are many untrained people who offer pruning services without having the proper knowledge and training to prune trees. That’s why it’s always important to consult with a certified arborist before any pruning takes place and when.
How Can I tell if My Tree is Sick?
At Westcoast Tree Care, our certified arborist has the ability to recognize any tree abnormalities in order to distinguish between serious and less harmful injuries. Symptoms of a sick tree can include wilted, scorched, chewed, blackened, and discolored leaves resulting from disease or chewing and sucking insects. Close inspection of stems, twigs, and the trunk of a tree is equally important. Fungi or mushrooms located near the base of a tree is another indication of a sick or dying tree. Any abnormality that you spot can reveal clues that can be used to diagnose a sick tree. Armed with this information, it’s important to consult with a certified arborist for a careful examination to make a proper diagnosis of the problem.
Is it Important to Water my Trees before the First Winter Freeze?
Yes. If the conditions in your area have been especially dry, it’s a good idea to water your trees in the fall before the first winter freeze. However, if there has been adequate precipitation in your area, extra watering isn’t necessary. Keep in mind that watering too much can be just as harmful as not watering enough.
Whidbey Island Tree Care
Every tree has different needs. While some may be young while others are mature, it’s important to plan for the future and make preventative tree care an important part of your landscaping budget. At Westcoast Tree Care, we can evaluate the health, safety, and integrity of your trees based on specific data including species, location, size, age, and condition. We provide Whidbey Island homeowners with the information they need to make informed decisions concerning the trees on their property.
If you would like to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation quote, contact us at 1.800.767.8733. Our certified arborist would be more than happy to walk your property with you and answer any other questions you may have.