Consider Your Trees!

I have been working with Joseph Tree for the last several years. In the last two years, it seems as though more and more people are moving into new homes. I have talked to many new home buyers about their trees and what to do about them. Some people were considering removing trees that have plans for additions, others were curious to learn what types of trees they had, some wanted a health assessment to see how their trees were doing and others wanted to get new trees in the ground asap to enjoy years to come. I myself was a first-time home buyer during this time. Obviously, the home itself is a crucial aspect of the decision-making process, duh! However, for me, the trees on each property I looked at made an impact as well. So whereas my realtor would list off the age of the house, the quality of the appliances, whether or not the home was heated by gas or electric, how nice the windows were, or showcasing the closet space; I was always interested in the trees in the yard. I wanted to know if I had any “problem” trees or space for my favorite species to live alongside me for the next several years. It turns out that I ended up with a little bit of both. It’s nothing I shouldn’t be able to deal with; I know a guy!

When moving into a new space, or if it’s something that you haven’t already done, getting to know what type of trees you have on your property can be greatly beneficial to your trees as well as you as a homeowner. Certain species of trees like Crabapples or Ash trees have certain fungi or pests that specifically target them. Living alongside these problems can cause unnecessary stress or even be fatal and it is important to take preventative action. Even if your tree does not suffer from any specific ailment it is still a good idea to have a professional come take a look and assess a tree’s health or to see if any maintenance is recommended. Pruning branches away from the house and walkways, raising up canopies to allow for more walkability and sunlight, removing deadwood within canopies, or removing trees that have outgrown their spaces or that are showing signs of decline can help make your yard more enjoyable, beautiful, and even safer. 

Another thing you may consider in your new or existing house is making changes; whether that be through addition or remodel. Before you start digging that new foundation you should stop and consider your trees. During construction, a tree’s roots are subject to disturbance through compaction and root removal. Damaging roots can be fatal and may leave a tree unable to hold itself up or provide itself with nutrients to survive. It is a good rule of thumb that there are roots under the canopy of the tree but always something to consider when starting your next project. Work with your contractor to set up root protection zones to better protect your tree’s roots, they will thank you for it. Certain species are more susceptible to construction disturbances than others and getting an arborist’s opinion can make a big difference. 

Lastly, I will part with some personal advice. Trees provide us with a multitude of benefits, some of which go largely unnoticed. A tree in your yard can provide you with something beautiful that adds real value to your home. I always recommend homeowners, new and old, to plant a tree. Trees take their time to grow so why not get a head start.