Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Trees can be beneficial in a few different ways. While they can add color, definition, and appeal, shade-producing trees can also improve the energy efficiency of your home. Because of these many benefits, it is easy to see why landscaping with trees can increase the value of your home by an estimated 20 percent.

Of course, proper care of your trees is essential if you want to protect your investment. However, knowing how to best care for your trees may be overwhelming. This guide and professionals will ensure you understand the truth about a few common tree care myths.

1. Pruning Is Only to Promote Growth

Yes, pruning will help stimulate new growth, especially when you do it before the growing season. However, pruning is not just to promote new growth.

Even if your tree has reached maturity, pruning is imperative if it shows signs of distress. Most experts recommend pruning the tree if you notice one of the following Ds: *Diseased




Signs of disease are easily noticeable. The leaves or actual branches may show moldy residue or severe discoloration, for example. Damage is also easy to see. Severe cracks, cavities, or breaks in the branches or limbs are definite signs of distress. These damaged limbs might need pruning.

You may not know whether a tree is deranged, though. Limbs and branches that cross or rub one another or grow in haphazard directions or into the actual tree trunk need removal.

Finally, knowing whether a branch is dead or live is an important factor. Scratch a small area of bark from the tree branch. If you see green under the bark, the branch is still alive. If it is brown, black, or even white or tan, the branch should be pruned.

2. Topping Your Tree Is Best

Another myth people believe is that topping the tree is beneficial to its overall appearance and underlying health. Unfortunately, topping can actually do more harm than good to a tree.

You should understand the difference between basic pruning and tree topping.

Pruning involves trimming off a few branches and limbs for different reasons. Topping involves cutting off larger branches and limbs all across the tree. Not only does it remove numerous branches and limbs affecting the overall look of your tree, but topping also removes all foliage while leaving behind numerous, large wounds.

If all the foliage is removed from your trees through topping, leaves can’t absorb the sun and carbon dioxide, preventing photosynthesis and affecting the tree's growth and health. After topping, your tree will slowly decline, eventually dying.

3. Trunk Cavities Should Be Full of Concrete

Excess moisture, fungal growth, and pests can wreak havoc on a tree. In many cases, these issues can lead to rot and decay, which result in cavities forming in the tree trunk.

Trunk cavities are unappealing, but they can also be dangerous. Large cavities will reduce the structural integrity of your tree, causing them to break apart and fall. Many people feel they can restore their tree back to health by filling the cavities with cement. In reality, the cement can weaken the tree even further.

Once the cement hardens, it will not be able to move and shift with the tree. Basic growth or even a severe storm with harsh rain and wind gusts will move the tree, causing the cement to put enormous stress and pressure on the trunk.

If the trunk cavity is large, the tree may need complete removal. If the cavity is small, addressing the underlying cause of the rot and decay may help save the tree's life. Although cement is not recommendable, tree care professionals may suggest another solution for filling the cavity.

For more information on caring for your trees in the most appropriate ways, contact Yates Tree Inc. 210-349-2977

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