The crowded nature of urban settings sometimes results in downed power lines, damage to neighboring homes and vehicles, and injuries or loss of life to family, neighbors, and visitors. Hiring a professional tree removal company reduces all of these risks. In addition, proper tree maintenance, beginning with correct planting conditions, ensures that the tree remains healthy through every phase of its life.
Average Tree Lifespans
Urban tree lifespans vary, according to USDA Forest Service ecologist Lara Roman. The eight-year average lifespan often cited in the news varies between seven and 13 years because available field data lacks sufficient accuracy. However, researchers agree that tree survival rates increase significantly with appropriate care no matter how researchers determine tree lifespans.
Failure to account for mature size constitutes the costliest mistake contractors and homeowners make when selecting trees and shrubs. Trees do not just grow taller: they also grow wider in diameter. Therefore, a tree that attains ten to 30 feet in height will also require spacing of ten to 15 feet from its trunk to the nearest building and the outermost growth of other trees and shrubs. Likewise, trees reaching heights greater than 50 feet need a minimum spacing of 20 to 25 feet from the trunk to the nearest building. Consequently, placing either tree 6 feet from the house, as many contractors do, sets up potential cracked foundations and ruined roofs.
Correct Planting Depth
Homeowners and contractors often plant trees at the wrong depth or apply mulch too close to the trunk, causing weak or damaged roots. Root damage leads directly to uprooted trees during storms. A tree removal company will prevent root damage by measuring the root ball before planting replacement trees. If they dig more than three root balls deep or wide, the hole is too large. Before planting the tree, they will replace enough soil to correct that mistake.
Mulch, Stakes, and Fertilizer
Tree removal services will apply fertilizer at the drip edge, or outermost diameter, of the tree, well away from the trunk or root ball. Applying fertilizer closer to the drip edge encourages the tree to form a stronger root system. Likewise, staking trees inhibits healthy growth. Any stakes need removal after three months. Mulch helps tree roots absorb enough moisture, but too much sometimes proves worse than none at all. Leave a 6 to 12-inch space between the mulch ring and the trunk.