Trees can be an invaluable part of a garden and home. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they provide shade on sunny days, and help to protect other plants and shrubs.
When learning how to create a sustainable garden, trees will be a major part of the process. They provide homes for many beneficial insects and wildlife. They help improve the quality of the air you breathe, they can provide fruit, and they can even make you money.
Trees have been proven in studies to increase the value of homes. This is even true if the tree in question is on the street and not even on the homeowner’s land.
However, they are living things, and just like all living things, they need care and maintenance. Without this, they could cause more problems than you can imagine.
Reasons to Have a Tree in Your Yard
Not every home is suitable for growing a great big oak tree, but even the most modest of yards may be suitable for a smaller tree. Growing trees can bring many benefits.
Firstly, they look beautiful. When looking for simple ideas to transform your backyard, planting a tree should be one of them. If you plant a fruit tree then one of the benefits will be free apples or pears, or whatever you choose to grow.
Dwarf trees can start providing fruit as quickly as two or three years after they have been planted, so the benefits can arrive faster than you might imagine.
Trees also bring with them a range of eco-benefits including protection from soil erosion by stormwater, oxygen production, and pollution reduction. They can also save energy by helping to keep a home cooler, and therefore air conditioning is needed less.
What Happens if a Tree Isn’t Looked After or Planted Properly?
If a tree isn’t planted in the correct position or is badly planted, it can lead to future problems including the plant dying. A lack of maintenance and care for a tree can similarly lead to major issues, some financial, and others, social problems.
Poor tree care can lead to some of the following:
- Storm damage to property
- Insurance problems
- Disease and rot
- Tree removal
- Neighbor disputes
- Damage to the garden and other plants
If there is damage to your tree and you suspect it may be a hazard, then calling to get a tree surgery quote might save one of the above problems and a lot of further headaches.
You can see below each of these areas in a little more detail, and understand some of the problems with poor tree care.
Storm Damage to Trees
One of the biggest problems with trees can be from the elements. While they can shelter a house from winds, and shade the home from the sun’s hot rays, trees can also suffer themselves in return.
Wind, lightning and heavy rain can all cause problems for trees. England suffered what was called the Great Storm of 1987 some 44 years ago, and with it came huge damage to the country’s trees.
Sevenoaks in England lost six of its famous oak trees. The oldest botanical garden in the world, Kew Gardens, lost several historic trees. And the country as a whole had around 15 million trees felled during the storm.
While storms themselves cannot be avoided, the damage caused by them can be mitigated. A storm-damaged tree is a hazard that needs a trained tree surgeon to recommend a solution.
It may be that a tree can recover from the damage, or it may have to lose some damaged branches. At worst, a tree may need to be removed as it represents a danger to the home and its occupants.
If a tree falls on your home then you will largely be covered by your insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, if a tree falls over but doesn’t damage a structure that is insured, then you will have to pay for the clean-up yourself.
Paying for the removal and clean-up in this situation can be costly and a nuisance, but it could be much worse.
If a storm damages a tree, or if your tree is rotting from disease and you ignore it, you may be creating a very expensive problem. If a tree that is presenting a hazard is ignored, and then subsequently falls on your property, your insurance company may refuse to payout.
Disease and Rot
Having a tree checked regularly, perhaps once a year will allow the arborist to spot signs of disease and rot. If an old or rotten tree falls over the insurance company may very well not pay you.
Many different diseases can affect trees, and not only can some be unsightly but they can cause havoc in your garden. They may cause your tree to rot and die, and they may also spread to other plants and shrubs.
Tree surgeons can diagnose and treat these problems, so this is one area that should not be neglected as they may be solvable.
When a tree becomes damaged, from a storm or bad pruning, for instance, it can rot and eventually die. Quite often this can be avoided through proper tree care, but sometimes a tree becomes diseased or is just very old and it dies.
A dying tree may take years to finally die, and can happily stay in the ground until then. Consulting an expert in this area is always a good idea. However, a dead tree should be removed.
If this isn’t done then you are opening up your garden to the spread of disease, if that is what the tree died from. You will also be attracting some very unwanted pests such as carpenter ants and termites. Lastly, a dead tree is a danger to property and anyone around it.
Trees can be a wonderful addition to any garden, but they are also often the source of problems with neighbors.
Privacy bushes and trees such as leylandii can cause arguments about light being blocked and these disputes can escalate quickly. Overhanging branches can be a nuisance and also become a hazard if damaged.
When it comes to property damage and insurance things are fairly clear. If your tree falls on the neighbor’s property then it is their insurance that pays out. This is true even if you have neglected to look after the tree and it is rotten.
However, even though the neighbor is looked after financially, your friendly relations may be soured forever.
Damage to the Garden and Other Plants
A damaged tree doesn’t just represent a danger to property and people, it can also harm other plants around it. Falling branches can crush smaller plants and shrubs, and some tree diseases can also spread to other plants.
If a living thing isn’t treated as such it will become unhealthy, just as people do. If the tree is planted badly in the first place it can die prematurely, or it may become a problem with overhead cables and need topping.
If a tree is damaged in a storm and ignored then it will quickly become a hazard, and this could be costly in more ways than one. DIY pruning can also cause a tree to become unstable and unsightly.
Trees are beautiful additions to gardens across the world, but they need maintenance and professional care from trained arborists. Then they will bring joy and beauty to a garden for years, and keep the neighbors happy too.