Tree Myths to Forget

Myth: Trees produce oxygen, they don’t need it.

Fact: Trees produce oxygen above ground, but they must have oxygen underground for the chemical process to occur that enables roots to absorb nutrients from the soil. Compacted soil severely restricts the availability of oxygen to the root system which adversely affects the tree.

Myth: Soil compacted by heavy traffic, either foot or vehicle, can easily be aerated.

Fact: Surface treatment can reduce but by no means eliminate soil compaction. It is far healthier for the tree to prevent soil compaction that to try to fix it.

Myth: Insects and microorganisms are the true cause of many tree problems.

Fact: These organisms are often secondary agents will not solve the basic problem of an unhealthy tree. Ample water for both young and mature trees, a well aerated root system, and proper pruning is the way to reduce problems.

Myth: A tree should look pruned when the arborist has completed his job.

Fact: A good pruning job is much like a good haircut – never overdone. Never prune a tree by removing all interior branches leaving the outer limbs and leaves. This method is considered over-pruning and significantly weakens the tree making it susceptible to insects and disease.

Myth: Make pruning cuts flush to the trunk.

Fact: The small ridge of collar at the base of every branch is part of the truck and protects the tree from disease and insects. Cut at the collar without leaving a stub. Better yet, take a pruning class this winter or pick up a good how-to book. Your tree will breathe a sigh of relief next time you head outdoors with your saw and loppers.