Sunday, May 27, 2012
Removing a Tree from your landscape
When we moved into our home in 2004 our backyard had only 2 pine trees and one small oak tree. It was quite a shock after leaving a home in Georgia that had over 30 trees. In order to develop some shade quickly I planted 4 Red maple trees I bought on clearance at a Lowe's Home Improvement Store and also two seedlings I brought from Georgia. I picked Red Maples for two reasons; one Red maples establish quickly and look good at a young age and two; I love the color of the leaves in the fall.
But the light-colored bark of this tree does present problems because trunk damage to young red maples is very common. Due to the light gray bark, the tree suffers from a condition referred to as sunscald, which happens during the winter. This environmental problem causes the trunk bark layer to split open. This break in the bark severely weakens the tree. A weakened and stressed tree is more likely to be attacked by borers. The tree cannot transmit water and nutrients up into the plant resulting in poor growth and possibly death. If the tree does survive and heal over, the trunk is weakened because of internal rot and decay. It will never completely heal and the hazard potential is increased.
I didn't realize this is what was causing a problem with one of the trees we had planted in December of 2004. The tree never did thrive and even with extra care and watering it just couldn't manage the drought of the last couple of years. This week I noticed the leaves had curled and turned crispy. We decided it was time to remove the tree. We had to remove another maple we had planted at the same time 2 years ago for similar reasons. Two other trees are doing well and I have to wonder if the problems of these trees may have been made worse by the soil or environmental problems. As it turns out both trees were located in spots where they were in the way.
My original landscape plan had changed over the years and the trees I planted were really in the way of our storage shed. So taking them out was not such a bad thing. I also kind of went overboard when planting trees in our small yard. I attribute this over planting to the shock of moving to a home with almost no trees after having so many trees in my former yard.
Removing this tree will change the make-up of the yard. This spot will now get more sun and the birds will not have the tree to use for perching and nesting. I have had to relocate a few shade loving plants that were shaded by the maple and luckily there is a metal arch where birds can perch. The small oak tree has also grown and is able to provide perching and nesting areas. There are no plans at this time to replace the tree.
I've called my yard "ever changing" and I guess it is living up to that description!