Consider This Before You Trim Your Trees

Hey property owners!  We love trees and being a part of maintaining and growing a healthy urban canopy. Did you know that the national average for damages to homes during inclement weather is $8,296?  Ensuring the health of a tree is critical for its survival during severe storms and protecting your property. 

Trees play a critical role in our urban environment (especially in Central Texas) for maintaining temperatures in the summer, storing carbon dioxide, erosion control, wildlife and aesthetics value for humans. It is estimated that Austinites save on average $18.9 million annually on their energy bill (USDA). The same United States Department of Agriculture study found that of the 33.8 million trees within the City of Austin, the most common tree types are ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia), sugarberry (Celtis), and Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana). 

Trees need proper care and maintenance so they do not spread disease or risk infection. Some trees, such as live oaks and red oaks, are susceptible to oak wilt. The City of Austin requires these two species of trees to only be trimmed July 1 – January 31, as that is when oak wilt is less active. For most all other species of Texas trees, they can be selectively trimmed at any time of year.

There are a variety of reasons why a tree might need to be trimmed:

  1. The tree is invasive and is non-native and should be removed
  2. The tree is causing foundational/structural/roof damage to the house or other buildings
  3. To prevent the spread of tree diseases
  4. Removal of dead limbs to prevent potential safety hazards

Tree trimming done improperly can expose the tree to disease. Trimmed limbs on live oaks and red oaks require a sealant to prevent infection.  Improperly trimmed trees can also be detrimental to their overall health, which is why it is always recommended to contact an expert. At Maas Verde, we are conservative with tree trimming to ensure the trees overall, long-term health.  Tree trimming should be a multi-year maintenance effort, which better ensures the long-term health of the tree.  

Tree cabling and other techniques can also be used for trees as they age to help ensure they survive heavy wind and rain events and to protect its structural integrity.  When we are on site for tree trimming, we also pay attention to details such as making sure root collars are properly exposed, and look at the entirety of the site to assess the health of an individual tree. 

Invasive species cost the US over $137 billion annually, so it is important to bring in an expert to reduce costs for invasive species removal.  Both Chinaberry, ligustrum and Chinese Tallow, to name a few, are common in Central Texas and are just a few of the non-native, invasive species that can cause damage, prevent the growth of our native trees and outcompete other critical native plants.

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