Trees are strong, majestic and beautiful. Much like Moms.
Maybe this is the year your family can celebrate Mother’s Day by purchasing and planting a tree in the yard. It’s a great family activity, a great way to recognize Mom, and play an important role in keeping Burlington safe and healthy.
Trees play an important role
in the urban environment.
If you’re curious about the role the urban canopy plays in keep our cities and our lives happy and healthy – consider the following:
- Their role in stopping global warming: Trees intake carbon dioxide and release oxygen, giving them a critical role in the reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. According to Arbor Environmental Alliance, a single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lbs per year making planting a tree one of the cheapest and most effective ways to draw excess amounts of CO2 from the air.
- How they cool our yards: Trees provide shade and transpire water which can subsequently cool a yard by 9 degrees. Trees also reduce ‘heat sinks’ (environments that absorb excess heat) which are generally speaking 6-19 degrees warmer than their surrounding areas.
- Lower our utility bills: Trees can be used to block direct sunlight from homes that then can lower air-conditioning bills. One large tree strategically placed in a yard can replace 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
- Help sell homes: Most realtors will advise that the presence of trees makes it easier to sell a home. Some experts have estimated that a well maintained tree can add as much as 20 percent to the value of a home.
Trees Need Care.
And that care and maintenance is different from just standard gardening practises.
Basic tree maintenance includes:
- Pruning: Some people consider pruning a negative action, but regular pruning helps trees develop a strong structure. Dead, defective, and diseased limbs, poorly attached or even low branches that interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic should be removed. Additional pruning may be necessary to thin out the canopy to allow the wind to blow through.
- Mulch at the base of the tree helps insulate it during hot and cold temperatures. Mulch also helps keep the roots moist and block the growth of weeds. In the end, just leave the mulch to do its job and not pepper it with grass clippings or planted flowers.
- Water: Newly planted trees require regular watering as they use lots of energy expanding and strengthening their root structures. The soil around the tree should be moist but not soaking. Overwatering can cause root rot, or drown the tree.
- Insect/disease control: Keep an eye on the tree roots for a change in colour which could mean a nutrient deficiency. Lawn mowers or string trimmers can injure a tree making it more susceptible to bacteria and fungi, eventually weakening it. Even excessive bark damage can result in the death of a tree.
A professional arborist who often work with professional tree maintenance companies can assist in diagnosing tree problems, as well as guide you through choosing the right tree and location for your home.
The City of Burlington & Trees.
“The city of Burlington plants approximately 1,000 trees annually as replacements, through capital projects, development and in response to resident requests for street trees. Trees are typically planted in boulevard settings, but are also planted in parks.
The sustainability and health of the future urban forest will rely on the selection and planting of a diversity of tree species, planted in appropriate locations and maintained until they are well established. The city is committed to establishing a more diverse future urban forest, and working with developers and contractors to ensure a diverse range of native and non-native non-invasive tree species get into the ground.”
In an effort to keep the trees healthy, Burlington’s Roads and Parks Maintenance Department enlists residents to assist in maintaining the trees on the street boulevards. In addition to the regular maintenance tips above, the city asks that you NOT:
- Remove support stakes within the first 2 years of planting
- Prune or trim trees. Pruning of city trees is provided by city staff or contractors trained in arboriculture practices at least every seven years taking into consideration tree characteristics, severe storms, insect infestation, wild animals etc.
- If you do have a problem with a tree call the Roads and Parks Maintenance Department to arrange for an inspection should anyone feel that a tree needs help. .
Protecting our urban canopy is important for our urban environment.
Contact the following Burlington businesses (tree surgeons, specialists or arborists) to learn more about planting a tree in your yard: Arborcorp | Arborwood | Timberwolf Tree Care & Consulting. Resources for this article: Enlightenme.com
Surprise Mom with something different for Mother’s Day this year and protect Burlington’s urban environment – say nothing of keeping the city cooler!