TIPS

Do's and Don'ts for Healthy Trees

Listen to your trees. Trees show signs of stress. Changes in a tree's appearance can tell you a lot of things. Look for changes in leaf color, misshapen leaves, thinness of the canopy and early loss of leaves.

Hire a professional arborist. If you have concerns about your trees, call a certified arborist. A professional arborist should be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. Ask for insurance certificates, references, credentials and estimates.

Proper planting is necessary for a long life. Attention should be given to site and tree selection, while following correct tree planting guidelines. A well-planted tree can ensure years of healthy growth and benefits.

"Topping" and "Lion Tailing" are forbidden. Never, ever, top your shade trees. By doing so you are inflicting irreparable damage to them. There are numerous ways by which the canopy of a tree can be thinned without topping.

Prepare your trees for the next season by routinely monitoring their growth. When a tree's health is in question, contact a trained arborist for an assessment and plant health care plan. Preventative maintenance is less expensive than damages from a tree's failure.

Timing is very important. Trees react differently in each season, hence the timing of various tree care procedures is critical. Fertilization and planting and disease control are examples of time sensitive tree care procedures.

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