Overgrowth in Trees: What’s the problem?
October 13, 2015
This past spring, record rainfalls did help fill up local lakes; but they also had some less-desirable consequences for our local trees. Nutrient depletion and soil heaving are just a couple of the major problems we started seeing around town after the rains. We also took care of many toppled trees and are now treating for an explosion of fungal diseases.
One of the things that made matters worse was a lack of water this summer. As soon as the rains stopped we went 40 days with no rainfall and soaring temperatures. But, most homeowners forgot to turn the water back on to their trees. It rained so much we didn’t need to water anymore, right? Despite the heavy spring rains, many trees suffered from a lack of water over the summer months.
A lesser known consequence of all that spring rain is a simple one:
Overgrowth. Too much, too fast.
Normally, trees will put on roughly 18- to 24-inches of shoot elongation each growing season. But this year, we’re seeing much more in a shorter period of time.
Ken Smith, Preservation Tree Certified Arborist, explains. "This growing season, we are seeing anywhere from 32-48 inches of shoot elongation, resulting in excess limb end weight. This type of excessive growth can result in limb failure during our upcoming storm season and especially in winter weather events due to tree's not having time to develop reaction wood to be able to support the extra weight.”
The extra weight on our tree’s limbs, especially after years of drought that might have already weakened your tree, can cause branches to fall on your property, including your roof.
So what can you do?
“This is an optimal time to have your trees professionally pruned to reduce limb end weight,” explains Ken. “But, beware of any tree service's that would prune your trees from the inside-out instead of the outside-in to reduce weight. Pruning your trees from the inside-out or "lion's tailing" can leave your trees vulnerable and compromise their structural integrity. Unlike grass, we only get one shot to prune a tree correctly or it can take several years for them to bounce back from a poor pruning job, if they bounce back at all.”
We always suggest you use a company who employs experienced Certified Arborists. Before you know it, winter ice, rain and high winds will be upon us. Prepare your trees before the storms hit!