Fall Guide

Growing Tall

T.F. Morra on preventative maintenance and overall tree health


The weather has been unpredictable and increasingly severe in the last few years. What can I do to protect my trees against damaging winds and weather conditions?
There are many accepted management practices for reducing risk with trees, including structural and corrective pruning to reduce end weight and leverage in large or poorly attached limbs, thinning of overly dense parts of the canopy, and static or dynamic cabling systems as well as bracing for poor unions. We have found that the trees that we have performed risk management practices on in recent years fare far better than nearby unmanaged trees. It’s encouraging to see such good results storm after storm.

I have a tree that was damaged in the recent storm. Is removing it the only option, or can I save it?
Many storm damaged trees can still be preserved. Bringing in a qualified arborist to help with making these decisions is always a wise course of action. Things to consider are the severity of the damage, the location and value of the tree in its current condition, and how these factors affect the property going forward. Balancing risk and property value is the key with storm damaged trees.

What’s the best way to maintain proper tree health, and to prepare for harsh winter weather?

Making sure that trees are well watered is a good start. Soil conditions play a large role in tree health, and very often, winter injury is linked to drought. Large, well tended mulch beds with lots of organic material help create good soil conditions for root growth. Watering and proper fertilization will give your trees a fighting chance against unpredictable winter weather. We also offer anti-transpirant sprays that protect evergreen trees and plants from winter injury by helping the foliage retain moisture.

Should I prune younger trees myself?
Pruning young trees can really help with the development of good structure, but I would recommend that homeowners limit pruning to low limbs. Structural pruning, as well as anything requiring working aloft, should be left to the experts. Mulch beds and organic fertilization are also beneficial for young tree development.

How often should I have a tree expert evaluate my yard?
Generally, structural tree pruning, canopy raising, and clearance pruning should give about three to five years of benefit. Cabling and bracing practices offer long.term security, but should be inspected periodically. Plant Health Care, fertilization, and soil treatment options differ, in some cases annual or even multiple treatments are required, in other cases we can treat and monitor as needed. Optimal tree health is the key goal, as healthy trees with healthy soil are able to thrive even under some of the worst conditions. Our PHC program, which includes soil aeration, soil amendment with organic compost, organic fertilization, and preventive and targeted treatments, is a holistic approach to tree health. Combined with proper pruning and maintenance, we work literally from the ground up in caring for trees.

T.F. Morra Tree Care


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