If you’re a homeowner in Perth, you’ll be well aware of the dangers from some of the recent storm damage this year. Just recently in the winter this year, a tornado struck across the north of the city, taking down with it several trees, then damaging homes and cars. Winds with speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour ripped through parts of Sorrento, Duncraig, Warwick, Hamersley and Balga in July. In the next month of August, winds also reached speeds of 110 km/h with rainfall occurring for more than 24 hours straight.
For someone who has trees around their property, there are some dangers that are posed by trees. Unfortunately, trees in an urban area cannot be left unattended to grow naturally in as they would in the wild. They present too much of a risk to our properties and any surrounding vehicles, particularly when a storm comes through. In this case, there are two options: to trim the tree back or remove it entirely. In fact, there are several more reasons why we may want to prune or remove trees, but usually, they are to do with the safety of our homes from potential damage.
When to Trim a Tree
Even if a tree is far enough from your property that it might not cause damage, there are certain situations where it might be at risk of falling. By pruning the tree there is a better chance of ensuring its survival and helping it grow stronger. At other times pruning a tree may be more for aesthetic reasons because it has overgrown too much, however, here are some of the reasons people usually call us to trim their trees for practical reasons:
- To Help the Tree Grow Stronger
Around Perth, many homes will be surrounded by native tree species such as Wattles or Eucalypts. There is a certain method of trimming trees that actually helps them grow stronger so that they will be able hold up to storms. This method is known as ‘lopping’, which means trimming the branches or stems of a tree back to the unions. If this is done correctly, by cutting the branches back to a fork, it will help your tree grow stronger in the long run, because it encourages root growth. This kind of lopping means that a tree will grow healthier and sturdier.
- To remove hazardous branches
Some branches need to be removed because they have become a danger to your property. Dead branches will fall very easily during high winds or a storm, which is a problem if they’re hanging over your rooftop. At other times hazardous branches have the risk of growing into power lines and damaging them. In this case, tree branches should be trimmed back to ensure continual safety.
- To Manage Infections
Just as humans and animals do, trees can contract diseases because they are living and breathing organisms. There are certain diseases that can attack and infect certain tree species, and if left unmanaged the disease can continue to spread to surrounding vegetation. An infected tree can be pruned in a certain way that halts the infection and stops it being spread further.
- To Encourage Fruit Production
The climate of WA provides an excellent environment to grow fruit right in our backyards. By trimming a fruit tree you’re actually encouraging it to produce more. For a start, you’re helping to maintain a healthier tree, as leaving deadwood in place makes the tree more susceptible to contract insect infestation and disease. Secondly, by removing branches and allowing them to regrow from the spurs means there is more opportunity for fruit production. Ensuring a well-pruned tree is vital to encourage a healthy fruit crop.
When to Remove a Tree Entirely
At times, a tree close to our property may pose too much of a risk to our homes and needs to be removed entirely. Some of the older homes in Perth may have been built too close to surrounding trees, and whilst this gives the city suburbs a pleasant green look and feel, each tree presents more of a risk the older and bigger it grows. Here are some of the main reasons you’ll need to remove a tree close to your home:
- To Minimise Risk from a Storm
The recent storms Perth experienced this winter is testament to the damage that strong winds can do the city, such as a tornado knocking down trees in its path causing destruction to surrounding properties. Perth sits in the southwestern corner of the Australian continent, lying below the escarpment, and therefore is about the first place a storm will hit after travelling the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. When a cold front sweeps in, this is bad news for many homeowners in its path. Any tree that has been storm-damaged must be removed in order to eliminate falling. If a tree has been affected by a storm, it is likely it will end up falling and so should be removed as soon as possible.
- To Safeguard Against Disease or Infection
Sometimes an infected tree can be trimmed so that it can stay in place and any disease can be eradicated. At other times the risk is too great, and the tree must be removed entirely. A diseased tree is slowly dying, and so eventually it will fall. Removing the tree before this happens is a sensible preventive measure. A diseased tree also poses a risk to infect the surrounding vegetation, and so to ensure the health of the adjacent area the tree must be removed. Sometimes an infected tree can be treated and left in situ, however, at other times the tree must ultimately be removed.
- To Prevent Against Dangers of a Rotten Tree
Trees grow at different rates, and certain species can carry a lot of deadwood. You can usually tell if your tree has become a victim of tree-rot because it is growing unevenly. If one-third of the tree trunk is rotted out it should be removed because it presents a risk of falling. Safely removing a rotten tree will prevent it from falling dangerously.
- To Ensure Safety against Uneven Growth
Sometimes a tree has not experienced any rot or infection but has become accustomed to growing unevenly. This is perhaps due to its position and the amount of sunlight it receives or also can mean root damage. It is easy to see an uneven tree because branches and foliage will only grow on one side. This presents a massive risk, and ultimately the tree will fall. It is best to remove the tree before it falls naturally.
Having Your Tree Attended To
Whether you need to have your tree removed or simply pruned, we can provide you with a number of ‘arborist’ services. We are called tree surgeons because we’re the guys that have the tools and the know-how to maintain your tree growths. Even if you’re not sure if you need your tree trimmed or removed, one of our arborists can come and perform a risk-assessment to any trees on site, and then advise you of the best course of action.
All of our tree surgeons have received rigorous training in order to become certified under the Australian Qualifications Framework, so you can be assured of our professionalism. Whether you choose to have your tree removed or just trimmed, or take no action, it’s certainly worth giving us a call to consult with one of our tree surgeons who can best advise you. Call us today on 0418 943 086, or use the contact form on our website.