The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 19, 2001


Tree care versus laissez-faire

If your woodland edge trees have gotten by just fine without you for 50 to 100 years why would you ever get involved now? Well, maybe you shouldn't. If the root systems were not messed with during construction and landscaping, your trees are probably fairly vigorous as a group. Sure, in this world there are always winners and losers but no doubt you have plenty of trees to spare.

But what if one of those losing trees is hovering over the swing-set? How about if your favorites are starting to lose the competition for light, water and nutrients ? What if some trees, thanks to all the new space from your recent (to them) house clearing, have gotten confused or too ambitious and are now tempting fate with storm damage?

Consider also the majestic mature trees battling drought and exotic pests and diseases. They accumulate large dead limbs that they can't shed easily. Older trees spend a lot of energy fighting decay at each of those invasion sites and they don't always win. If decay reaches into the trunk, structural integrity is compromised.

A live-and-let-live approach to native trees has its merits, but you might want to make some exceptions.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito