Like all living creatures, trees require sustenance and care, or else they can become sick from a long list of potentially life-threatening diseases, infestations, or harm. That’s why it’s essential to understand your trees and what type of things can affect them. That’s why Westcoast Tree Care would like to provide you with the following guide to understanding disease and how trees get sick.
A Good Intention Story
At Westcoast Tree Care, we’ve seen and heard it all. Take, for example, the following story. Over a spring weekend, a homeowner named Jason noticed the mountain ash tree near his home had branches hanging close to his roofline. That’s why he decided to hire a local landscaping company to trim back some of its branches. When they arrived, they took a look at the tree and said they could take care of the problem. After that, they took out an extension ladder, a rusty power hedger, pole pruner, and a pair of loppers. The branches were trimmed back a short while later, and the roof was cleared. Satisfied, Jason agreed to have the crew trim some nearby hedges before calling it a day. Problem solved, he thought. Or was it?
As spring turned to summer, and summer into fall, and fall into winter, Jason started planning out his annual outdoor lighting for the holiday season. As he was hanging lights, he noticed what appeared to be burned branch segments on the pruned side of his tree. When he looked closer, the more they seemed to have been scorched with a blow torch.
Shrugging his shoulders, Jason continued to hang his holiday lights without giving it a second thought. After all, he’d looked at the rest of the tree and didn’t see any other problems. However, when he glanced over to the nearby hedges he’d had trimmed along with the tree, he noticed a similar burnt appearance on the ends of its branches. Now he was perplexed.
Transmission of a Disease
So what do you think happened? Well, when the local landscapers Jason hired came to his house that spring, they had just trimmed a crabapple tree at another property that was infected with a bacterium called Fire Blight. The bacteria remained on their pruning tools. When those same tools pruned Jason’s tree, it became infected. Stories like this happen every day.
How to Prevent the Spread of Disease
So, how can you avoid a similar scenario? First, it’s essential to pay attention to the species of trees and shrubs you have on your property and what diseases they can contract. This is relatively easy with a quick search on Google.
Second, you should only hire a certified arborist to prune and trim your trees. Why? They have the experience and knowledge to work on trees with sterilized tools. You’d be surprised if you knew how many landscaping companies don’t know the first thing about tree diseases.
At Westcoast Tree Care, we understand it’s not possible to protect your trees from all diseases that are spread by the wind, insects, or birds. However, a certified arborist will reduce this risk by doing the following things:
- Disinfecting tools between jobs.
- Removing any visibly sick or dead trees.
- Provide annual tree inspections
In summary, you wouldn’t let a doctor treat you with an unsterilized tool used between patients, so why would you treat your trees any different? For more help in maintaining your trees and reducing the risk of disease and infestations, contact Westcoast Tree Care by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733. We would be more than happy to walk your property, answer any questions you may have, and provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation quote for any of our Vancouver tree care services.