Don’t be scared by your trees!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Don’t be scared by your trees!!!
Halloween can be a really scary time, but what’s even more scary is waking up to hearing a large CRACK when your big beautiful shade tree fails and damages your home, car or worse.  But there are easy ways to quell your anxiety and keep your investments safe. 
First – when planting a new tree, make sure it’s the “right tree for the right space”. Will its mature size fit next to your home or under power lines? Is it hardy to your climate? Second – inspect your tree before you take it home or before it’s planted. Is the trunk damaged, are there broken branches - any wound can be an entry point for fungus and disease. Are the roots circling, is the root flare buried, or are there even enough roots present? Good root structure is the foundation that keeps your tree upright and is important to feeding the leafy canopy. When you plant your new tree, make sure all the burlap, wire or container is removed, the roots are spread so that they can grow out away from the trunk and that the tree is not planted too deep. You want to see the very top of the “root flare” (where the roots connect to the trunk) just above the soil level. Too deep and the trunk can rot. Water well and make sure your mulch is 2-3” away from the trunk.
If you have an established tree on your property, have a licensed arborist visit it regularly. They are trained to see problems we can’t. The sooner you deal with a potential problem, the less $ it will cost – wait too long and the repair bills and increased insurance premiums can cost a lot more. 
With the right planting and the right pruning, a healthy tree can provide clean air, clean water and energy savings for a lifetime. And that’s not scary at all.
Kim Ballard
Outreach Coordinator
Project Canopy
Maine Forest Service