Can my tree be saved?

Can my tree be saved?

An earlier post on this blog asked the question: Is my tree dying? Particularly at this time of year, our team are often asked another fundamental question: Can my tree be saved?

Thankfully, in our part of the country, from Gravesend to Maidstone, Beckenham to Dorking – in fact right across Kent and Surrey, we have not suffered the catastrophic storm Desmond and its after-affects as the poor folk of Cumbria and the north-west have. Sad to say, though, that we might not be as fortunate right throughout the winter and spring to come.

When a much-loved tree is damaged by either wind or water, it is often an instant reaction to think that it cannot be saved. Occasionally, the damage is too great; but often our expert tree surgery team can carry out careful repair work. It might not be the tree it was, but there is a chance that it can continue to grace your garden for many years to come.

Therefore, if a storm does hit, contact us as quickly as you can, and we’ll soon be assessing what action can be taken. Even better, take the time to examine the trees in your garden now and see if any might be prone to such damage. Call us, it is often possible to carry out preventative tree maintenance that will help those precious old trees better deal with whatever the weather might decide to throw at them!

Is my tree dying?

It’s not surprising that we become so attached to our trees. Perhaps we planted them when they were young saplings and have watched them grow over time to become mature specimens. Or maybe the trees were already there before you moved in. Whatever the case, any suggestion that the tree you’ve come to know and cherish is dying is both worrying and sad.

Warning Signs

Signs to look out for include your tree producing fewer leaves than normal or none at all, the bark becoming brittle and falling off, limbs feeling dry and easily broken, or the trunks starting to feel spongy in places. Any of the above could mean your tree is dying. Why this happens isn’t always easy to pinpoint and can be caused by known tree diseases, fungus that affects certain types of trees, or simply old age.

Your Tree’s Lifespan

Some smaller ornamental trees live between 15 and 20 years, while larger species such as maple have a lifespan of around 100 years. Pines and oaks can live up to 300 years, and ancient firs can live considerably longer. There’s nothing that can be done for a tree that is dying of old age, but a sick tree can be treated. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis of what’s wrong with your tree by calling out a professional arborist to take a look. Only then can you make an informed decision about what to do next.

DIY tree stump removal? Proceed with care!

If a tree’s not too big and it really does need to come down, you can tackle it yourself if you have the right tools, the time, and the practical nous to do the job safely. DIY stump removal’s a whole different ball game, however, unless the stump is old and rotten, in which case it’s a job you’ll easily manage.

In terms of DIY techniques, leaving the stump to rot may well be the best option, but it can take years for the roots to break down. If the stump’s fresh, the first thing to do is cut through the major roots with an axe. Depending on the girth of the stump, you can then try and loosen it using brute strength, or by attaching a chain and pulling it with the help of a vehicle. You could drill holes in the stump and pour in potassium nitrate and wait four to six weeks for it to rot the wood. You could also try soaking the stump in petrol and let it burn and smoulder.

Any one of these methods can work, but all carry a certain amount of risk, not least of which is the physical harm you could do to yourself. Some jobs are always best left to the professionals and in our view, tree stump removal is one of them!