Friday, March 27, 2015

Venture into your yard & check the health of trees

As temperatures warm up, it’s time to venture into your backyard and check your trees for damage that may still be there from the September snow storm last fall. Right now we estimate three quarters of the tree damage is located on private property.



Here are a few things to look for when caring for your trees:
  • Comply with the Alberta elm pruning ban between March 31 and September 30. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of Dutch elm disease. Elm trees are also one of the few types of shade trees that grow in Calgary so it is important to protect them.
  • Consider all options before removing your trees. Tree have many benefits such as providing shade and cooling, slowing down storm water runoff, increasing property values and helping to keep people healthy and happy.
    • Removing entire trees or large limbs can change the wind dynamics in a location or within the tree.
    • Do not take the drastic step of “topping” your tree in an effort to control its size. Topping is the drastic cutting back of major branches. Topping may destroy the natural form of the tree and encourages the tree to put our weakly attached shoots which are more prone to damage.
  • Practice safety first. Start with issues that will lead to major problems if ignored. Look for potential hazards such as major limbs that are still hanging in the canopy of the tree and/or trunks of trees that are split. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible, especially if there is a risk to injure people or damage property.
  • Know your skill level. Consult with an International Society Arborist (ISA) certified arborist or a tree care company that employs ISA certified arborists. This could apply if trees need work in their canopy, large limbs need to be removed or specialized equipment is needed.

It’s important to look out for our trees not only for safety purposes but because they contribute many environmental, social, and economical benefits. Trees are one of a few assets that appreciate in value over time.

For more information on supporting your trees and recovering from the September 2014 Snow Storm, visit calgary.ca/trees.

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