Identify Tree Problems In Your Garden
Author bio: Josh is a content writer for Tree Squadron, a Cardiff-based tree surgery company. He is an expert in tree care and maintenance, offering advice and guidance on rare and common tree problems for homes and businesses."
When you’re creating the perfect garden space, you might be limited by what you’ve inherited, and trees are a big part of that. Whilst trees have a lot of benefits, you will have to carefully manage your tree so that it stays healthy and safe, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit to your garden. There are a number of tree problems you should be looking out for it you want to keep your garden in top condition.
Trees will continue to grow over time, and as such the branches will continue to get longer and longer. If you have a tree in your garden it could be positioned near a boundary edge, meaning the branches could encroach into another person’s garden. Common law dictates that they have a right to trim any encroaching branches, so it's best to tackle this yourself before anyone else takes the clippers to your tree.
In addition, the longer and more numerous the branches are, the higher the risk of injury from falling branches, so if you have a garden which is constantly being used, it would be a danger for anyone using the green space.
If you have a small tree then you might be able to tackle problem branches yourself by using a pair of secateurs or a pruning saw. However, for larger jobs and taller trees you’re best off calling in high-quality tree surgeons who have the tools and expertise to safely and efficiently trim your tree to allow it to still flourish in the future.
If your trees aren’t evergreen, then come the autumntime your trees will start to shed their leaves, scattering them all over your lawns and paths or your garden beds.
Whilst this isn’t necessarily a problem with the tree itself, it’s an issue that can affect your garden and cause issues if not adequately managed.
As the cold, wet weather and falling leaves mix, it can create a slippy hazard, especially on pathways. And if leaves fall on the ground, they can cover the grass, denying it sunlight and making it turn yellow. There are a number of ways you can remove leaves, including using a leaf blower, a lawn rake or even a garden vacuum. A garden vacuum on shredder mode will crush your leaves up, meaning they’re perfect for the compost heap to create a rich mulch.
One of the biggest worries is that your tree will succumb to some form of disease. Depending on your tree type, there are a number of diseases you need to look out for, which can seriously affect the health and structure of your tree and can affect those around it.
Diseases include ash dieback, dutch elm disease, fire blight, oak wilt and canker diseases. You may be able to spot the signs of these diseases, and you could contact a professional arborist as soon as you can to get their assessment and advice on what’s required.
If you have an ash tree, or a number of ash trees, in your garden, then ash dieback disease is something you’ll need to pay close attention to. Also known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, it’s a fungus which is predicted to kill 80-90% of ash trees in the UK and affect ash trees in 22 European nations. And while the disease is yet to reach the USA, some North American ash species have been identified as being vulnerable.
The signs to look out for are leaves developing dark patches in the summer, leaves shedding early, dieback of the shoots and leaves, lesions where the branch meets the trunk, and epicormic growth. The disease will eventually kill the tree by blocking its water transport systems, and as of yet there is no known cure.
Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch elm disease is an issue that has affected elm trees in North America and Europe. In the 1960s and 70s, the UK lost 25 million trees to a strain of the disease, whilst 97% of the elm trees in France were completely wiped out. In Toronto, 80% of the elm trees have been lost to the disease, and it’s also affected American elm trees planted on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Dutch elm disease is caused by infection from microfungi, which is spread by a variety of bark beetles. They include the native elm bark beetle, the banded elm bark beetle and the smaller & larger European elm bark beetles.
The disease can be identified through yellow, wilted leaves that die and fall from the tree. It then rapidly spreads across the rest of the tree. There are a range of things that can be done to try and combat Dutch elm disease, such as pruning flagging branches, stripping bark from the affected branches and fungicide injections.