Frequently Asked Questions
Should I top my tree?
No. And if a tree service company recommends tree topping, don’t hire them. Proper tree pruning and crowning is the answer to removing load bearing branches to preserve trunk integrity and allows the sun to shine through. Tree toping to reduce a tree’s height will give you quick results but initiates the tree’s decline by inviting internal decay. If you need to reduce the height of a tree for sunlight, storm damage or interference with electrical wires, ask us about crown reduction to get the desired results.
How do I know what kind of root structure exists under the tree I want to remove?
The root structure of your tree depends on many features such as species, soil, water table depth and solid rock formations that block root growth. Some species grow roots close to the surface and soil erosion will expose them. Root systems can spread out two to three times further than the branches when space is available and tunnel deeper to reach water levels when necessary.
Call us for an assessment before you remove the tree as there may be an alternative to your problem such as crowning or pruning. Post tree removal, your best solution may be mulching the stump rather than attempting to tear up a large existing root system or you may damage other plants or break underground pipes.
Will tree roots break my underground pipes?
On very rare occasions yes, but most often, pipes break because of ground shift or end-of-life pipe material. Once the pipe is broken or corroded, the smaller roots of trees may enter the damaged pipes seeking water. Species that can invade broken sewer pipes include poplar trees and willows.
Should I worry about invasive tree species when planting ornamental trees?
Currently, invasive tree species are not an environmental concern, however, several high-risk invasive plants are listed on our provincial invasive species website.
How can I water my trees for water conservation?
Planting drought resistant trees in the Thompson-Okanagan (a semi-arid desert zone) is the best solution for water conservation. Using watering bags on more sensitive seedlings helps protect the tree, because the water drips slowly into the soil around the roots. The leaves of your trees do not need to be watered, only the roots. Water established trees weekly as needed with a slow drip irrigation system if possible. Avoid frequent light watering during the heat of the day, as the water will just evaporate and not reach the deeper root system where it’s needed.
Should I fertilize my trees?
Healthy trees planted in nutrient rich soil with an appropriate water source do not need to be fertilized. However, if your tree is not growing, is off-colour or has dead branches, it may need to be fertilized. Call us for an assessment before fertilizing, as that may not be the problem. Your tree may have been damaged by human activity such as compacted soil or pavement, or may be diseased, needing the alternate management.
When should I plant trees in my new yard?
When should I plant trees in my new yard? The first step to planting is choosing the right tree according to your zone and soil quality. Plant young healthy trees in the spring or fall then water them well after planting. More Planting Tips: Adding mulch is helpful to control weeds and hold the moisture young roots need to thrive.
Allow young trees to recover from transplant-shock before fertilizing, and fertilize only if needed. Remember to leave enough space between trees for their full growth potential. It is important to plant and maintain the health of urban forests. They increase property value, provide shade to reduce the heat from concrete and pavement, create oxygen, and reduce erosion. And they just look great, don’t they?
How can I protect the trees from the construction activity on my new lot?
Great question. As urban development continues to expand, it is important to preserve our native species. Protecting your trees from construction is important because it may take years for irreparable damage to show up, and even changing the grade or slope of your lot can affect them. Call us before construction begins for a tree preservation plan.
Depending on how the land will be altered by construction, we may apply bio stimulants, prune the tree or take steps to protect the trunk and immediate surrounding area from soil compaction. Our impact evaluations protect valuable, mature trees from damage so you can enjoy them for years to come.
Can tree removal and lot clearing be done in the winter?
Yes. Cold temperatures push trees into dormancy, making them leafless and lighter. The frozen ground will not shift and this keeps surrounding plants safe from construction damage. The best course of action though, is to call us for a site assessment to protect the trees you want to keep safe for healthy future growth as we plan for clearing. Of course, dangerous trees should be removed asap, no matter what the season.