Canopy thinning to reduce the “sail effect”
When heavy winds blow through the landscape, large trees tend to catch the wind and act as a sail. This effect can be damaging to trees in the form of broken limbs and uprooting. To reduce this effect, proper thinning techniques can be used to let the wind pass through the canopy of the tree.
Systematic canopy reduction
Systematic canopy reduction can be useful in protecting trees from limb damage and tree uprooting by reducing the potential weight in the trees canopy. This is different than “topping” or “hat racking”, a practice that is proven to be detrimental to a tree’s health. A tree’s canopy can be reduced properly by cutting back to healthy lateral limbs to hinder the overgrowth of new limbs and control the overall size of the tree.
Continuous and proper pruning methods
To ensure a tree stays within the limits of its growing area and to reduce insects infestation, removal of deadwood and proper pruning is imperative. Deadwood attracts insects and improper pruning will create hazardous limbs and significant dieback.
Supplemental support ie. cabling and bracing
When a tree’s limbs grow in a codominant manner, become hazardous or become damaged, in addition to proper pruning, a bracing and/or cabling system can drastically reduce the risk of limb failure or critical damage. These types of systems can also decrease the risk of property damage as well.
Physical protection from rodents and deer
When the winter months reduce the amount of available food for rodents and deer, the root systems and inner/outer bark of a tree can be a sustainable replacement for sustenance. To help reduce this damage a fence or cage can be installed around the trunk of trees to help stop these animal from removing the bark or destroying the root systems of trees.
Sunscald from reflection of sunlight in snow
During the winter months, in areas of potential snowfall, reflection of sunlight from the snow can damage the living cells within the trunk of trees. This is accomplished by the warm sun bouncing off the snow and warming the cells within the tree’s cambium layer within the trunk. Once the cells are warmed they “wake up” and are essentially tricked into thinking its spring. Once nightfall arrives and the temperature drops, extensive damage occurs to these cells creating large sections of dead cambium. This damage can be lethal to trees within the landscape and can be avoided by wrapping the trunk with white or lightly colored fabric.
Mulch beds around the trunk of trees
Mulch has many benefits to the health of trees. Among these benefits include supplying water to the root system, reducing physical damage from landscape management, reducing food competition from grasses, and stabilizing root zone temperatures. The mulch needs to be properly installed to gain these benefits.