Community Insider Fall 2017 - Page 40

A Course Correction in Contemporary Tree Care M BY ADAM HEARD any communities in Southern California have almost completely given up on actually caring for trees. There is a lot of talk about valuing trees but, if you follow the money, you’ll discover that people don’t really “value” trees. The idea of proper tree care has been reduced to two service categories-trimming and removals, with an emphasis on keeping costs low rather than on the health of the tree(s). The thought that trimming is the answer promote overall tree health has become pervasive. This belief is held by many arborists and tree owners, and has diminished the value of tree service to a commodity, rather than a service that demands expertise worth pay-ing for. As a result, Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) are often distributed to competitors on an “Apples-to-Apples” basis with general trimming recommendations, grouped by species, staggered bi-annually, with ap-proved proposals usually going to the lowest-priced vendor. This needs to stop! Trimming is not the catch-all treatment that many believe it to be and arboriculture is a le-gitimate science that requires intelligent planning to properly implement. Trimming is a service that may not actually be required and should be recommended for specific, individual trees rather than a general treatment throughout an entire species population. “Pruning,” is not a “one size fits all category;” there are different clas-sifications for trimming such as Crown Reduction, Clearance Pruning, Crown Cleaning and Crown Thin-ning. These are technical pruning categories, unlike “Lacing,” (trimming of branches and removal of dead wood) and are intended to serve a functional purpose when applied. In many cases, these types of applications are not required annually or even bi-annually, for that matter. There are chemical reactions that occur in trees when a pruning cut is made. For example, cutting the end of a branch reduces the production of a growth hormone called Auxin, which is responsible for the inhibition of dormant buds that are genetically predisposed to become tree parts. The inhibition of these buds saves the tree energy and resources so that the dormant buds aren’t activated. Removing Auxin from the equation orders a tree’s stored resources to build the tissues required to 40 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER | FALL 2017 make new twigs, stems, flowers, etc. Repeatedly making these cuts will eventually cause the demand on “tree- producing resources” to exceed the rate of reproduc-tion. Since the tree cannot keep up with the increased rate of d Ёݥѽɽݥ)Ѽ)]]\ $M=I