The Art and Science of Caring for Our Trees

Planting a tree is just the first step of a lengthy journey of loving and caring for nature.  And in return, nature provides shade, food, clean air. Collectively, the trees in our garden, or community parks represent life, growth, peace and harmony. It is a serious undertaking. Caring for trees is both an art and a science.

tree care tips

Planting a tree is a complex exercise. It is far more than digging a hole and setting the roots deep into the soil, watering and covering the roots and lower stem of the juvenile tree. It is going to need mulching, feeding, trimming and training, clipping and pruning. As a tree care expert, you are managing the growth of the tree to suit and compliment the environment in which its planted.

Your goal is to achieve a sustainable, blossom blooming, fruit producing, maturing tree. At the same time, you want it to compliment the garden space in terms of spatial beauty and unity. The tree needs to be managed to optimise its visual impact so that it’s both pleasing to the eye and functional in terms of effectiveness, whether as a shade tree, a fruit producing tree or a blooming array of color and scent.

As a gardener and caretaker of trees, you are constantly working to ensure good tree health, wide and open tree structure to ensure adequate light, and space so that the tree can achieve its full potential as a structure of beauty and productivity. Pruning, little and often, rather a total wipe out, lope off, chainsaw approach. Afterall, the aim is to have sustainable and viable tree.

There might be a need for canopy lifting to provide clearance for pedestrians and vehicles. This will also ensure adequate light penetration and air movement across the branches and through the leaves. Canopy topping might be required to avoid contact with overhead powerlines, or reaching too far across into the neighbour’s space. This is another step towards a sustainable tree, retaining the tree’s assets and securing a mature tree.

mulch from tree shavings

This thinning of the leaf canopy achieves a number of  benefits. The thinning of leaf foliage will allow for greater light penetration and wind movement through the canopy or ‘crown’ of the tree. It will allow the foliage to open up wide and not be brushing up against other branches. Fruits will be more plentiful and sweeter from exposure to more sunlight. In turn, this will reduce the weight of the tree limbs and should also enhance the beauty of the natural appearance of the tree. Collectively, this will make your garden more visually pleasing, reduce the chances of disease,  mould or fungus, produce a more bountiful crop of fruit, and prolong the life of the tree.

It may appear like a lot of work but the rewards will far outweigh the physical labour required by you through the seasons and over the years. You will have the benefits of shade and beauty, and fruits, all provided by nature. You merely feed and water, mulch and prune. The tree does all the growing and production work. So allow yourself to enjoy the beauty of nature in your own outdoor areas.

About Claire Cosgrove

Dr Claire Cosgrove, Ph.D., is an independent Environmental Scientist and Educator. Looking to establish a consultancy company: “Cultural Awareness, Environmental Mindfulness”. Formerly a Professor of Environmental Sciences in the College of Engineering at AMA International University, Salmabad, Kingdom of Bahrain. Before moving to the Middle East in 2009, Dr Claire was a Research Scientist based in the USA at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and at Georgia Institiute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr Cosgrove has lived and worked in a number of countries such as South Africa, USA, New Zealand and the Middle East. Her research work has covered air pollution, weather modification /cloud seeding, rainfall modelling and simulation and flood forecasting, to name a few areas of interest.
Tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.