As we get older, we all need more regular health checks with our doctor to ensure we stay in good health for as long as possible, and nip any emerging problems in the bud. Well, it might surprise you to know that this is also the case when it comes to trees.
If you’ve never heard of a ‘tree doctor’ – more commonly known as an arborist – you’re not alone. After all, trees are just plants, and they can simply look after themselves, right?
Well, no. Trees actually need help to ensure they stay in good health and live as long as possible. Just like us, trees can get sick, diseased or damaged, and these things don’t just go away. Which is where a good arborist comes in.
An arborist can conduct assessments on unhealthy trees to determine the source of their problems and take action to resolve any issues they find. And this is essential in ensuring trees remain healthy throughout their lifetime. Here’s what a typical tree assessment (or ‘check-up’) involves.
Arborists don’t just assess trees, they also assess the tree’s entire environment to gain a comprehensive understanding of what may be affecting the health of the tree. This might include:
- Soil conditions
- Terrain and topography
- Water sources
- Air quality
- Chemicals and potential hazards
Information about these conditions is collected and analysed to identify potential issues that may require further investigation and resolution.
A comprehensive soil assessment will provide insight into the condition of the soil and how it affects tree health and productivity. Surprisingly, 90% of plant diseases are soil related. A soil inspection will provide valuable information about the condition, health and quality of the soil – and by extension, the plants that are growing in it. An arborist will assess the soil visually and also take soil samples at various depths and locations to analyse the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.
Tree health assessment
The final item to be assessed is the tree itself. An arborist will assess the plant dimensions, size and growth pattern to evaluate its growth rate and identify any abnormalities. They will examine the canopy for size, density and growth, which is an indicator of overall plant health. They will check for dieback to certain parts of the plant, which can be a sign of pests, diseases or other issues. Foliage colour and size is also assessed, which provides valuable information about plant health. And the chlorophyll and sugar content of the plant (also important indicators of plant health) will also be measured. Now that does sound like going to the doctor!
By evaluating all these aspects of plant health, arborists can identify potential issues and develop management strategies to improve plant health, productivity and longevity.
Get your trees assessed regularly
So, getting an assessment from a ‘tree doctor’ is a wise idea to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of your valuable trees. But don’t be like those people who hate going to the doctor, and only go in an extreme emergency when they’re practically dying. Many people will only call an arborist if their tree displays signs of poor health, damage or disease. However, while arborists can certainly treat unhealthy trees, in some cases if you wait that long to get someone to examine your tree, it may be too late to save it. A far better strategy is to have regular tree check-ups with an arborist to ensure they nip any problems in the bud before they become untreatable. Identifying potential issues early can help prevent irreparable damage, and ensure your beautiful trees stay viable over a very long time. We can certainly help with that – get in contact with the experienced and professional arborists at Heritage Tree Care here.