Human beings are the biggest pests when it comes to tree health, no matter which part of the world you’re in. Whether it be through something as direct and indecent as deforestation or climate change, or something as simple as vandalism or mechanical damage, there’s no hiding the fact that mankind has taken trees for granted.
You may even be a perpetrator without knowing it; although you may not have ever deforested a region of tree life, causing mechanical damage to your tree when cleaning your yard counts as harm done to tree life. In today’s blog, we’ll be taking a look at the effects of mechanical damage done to trees.
mechanical damage done to trees and their effects
Any damage done to a tree that is caused by some kind machine counts as mechanical damage. Most types of mechanical damage to trees usually involve the bark of the tree coming into harm’s way. Whether it is a little bit of chipping here and there, or very noticeable scars at the base of the trunk, you’re putting your tree at risk of several dangers such as degraded functionality and an inability to grow leaves.
This is mostly due to the fact that any damage done to the bark of a tree greatly affects that tree’s ability to effectively distribute water and nutrients throughout its entire system. If the wound extends completely around the base of the tree (girdling), it will eventually die.
Any kind of damage done to a tree is serious; damaged parts mean a tree has to devote more of its energy and resources to try to seal and heal the wounded areas. These wounds are also openings for wood-rotting organisms and degrading fungi – it’s better to prevent damage than to try to mitigate it.
How to prevent mechanical damage to trees
These are a few of the things you can do to prevent your tree from suffering life-threatening damage:
- Don’t allow any grass and weeds to grow at the base of your tree. If you can’t prevent this from happening, then resort to physical removal of the weeds (with your hands) as opposed to using a removal device such as weed whackers.
- To help you prevent these weeds and grass from growing at the base of your tree, you can use herbicides to eliminate the pesky vegetation around the base of your tree. Be sure to be careful when applying the chemicals so that you don’t accidentally spray your tree with them.
- Where possible, use a mulch ring to help reduce your tree’s competition for water and nutrients. If you’d like to learn more about mulching, check out this awesome blog!
- Add trunk guards are similar items to give your tree a bit of extra protection. Tree guards can help prevent mechanical damage to your tree, as well as help reduce any potential damage caused in the winter season.
Trees are some of the most important features for any homeowner to have, no matter how large or small your property is. If you’d like to learn more about tree care, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!