The cuckoo’s call may be the soundtrack to a summer’s day, but its nature is to decimate the homes of other birds by rolling eggs from a nest and replacing them with their own. If you cut down trees or trim your hedgerows without consideration for the birds that may have made their homes there then you will be the cuckoo, decimating their habitats. However, there is an easy way to avoid this and keep your garden’s foliage tamed while protecting the fauna that call it home.
We are often called in to deal with trees that have got their owners into legal hot water, so we thought you might appreciate a quick overview of the sort of trouble your garden trees could be getting you into.
The Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) is a relatively recent scourge of the UK oak tree population. They live and feed almost exclusively on oak leaves and can strip a tree bare, leaving it weakened and more vulnerable to pests, diseases, and stress. But this pest does not stop at compromising the health of our oak trees – people and pets need to watch out as well.
The silver birch is a striking tree, with its silver-grey trunk and limbs that shed paper-like bark, light canopy and drooping branches, weighed down by yellow-brown and green catkins in April and May each year. It grows to around 30 metres in height and its triangular-shaped, serrated leaves go from light green in the summer to yellow in the autumn before they fall from the tree.
Tree surgery is a dangerous business. You might think this statement is rather obvious, what with chainsaws, ropes and working at height being part and parcel of the profession, but more and more ‘cowboys’ are entering the market (and also the column inches of national newspapers when things go wrong…). This article aims to help you to sort that Stetson-wearing, horseshoe-throwing, tobacco-chewing lot from the professionals.
The British summer can be an unpredictable season. You know where you are with autumn, it’ll be cold and wet, in winter it’ll be cold and wet, and in spring it’ll be wet and slightly less cold. But summer can be so many things. There could be summer storms, sweltering drought and even flash floods. It could be unseasonably cold or hot, or seesaw between the two throughout. But while we Brits are used to the random roll of the dice that is our summertime weather, trees are less resilient so we need to prepare for every eventuality.
The oak tree holds a special place in all our hearts. It’s the most common species of tree in England, and because of the height, scale, and age that it grows to, it has always been considered a symbol of endurance in our history. This is the story of the mighty oak, and how having one in your garden could well make you a very lucky homeowner.
Today it is very unlikely that you will have a mature elm in your garden. It’s a shame, but successive waves of Dutch elm disease have devastated the British population of this once prolific tree on our isle. So, if you have any young elm saplings in your garden you’ll want to do your bit to protect them from a disease that will still find and destroy them, given half a chance.
If you have trees in your front, back or side gardens, in your grounds or as one of your management/maintenance responsibilities, then you have a choice to make – leave them to grow as nature intended, cut them back yourself when you feel they need it, or call in the experts.
Spring has well and truly sprung. All you need for proof of this is to look out onto the snowstorm of pink and white that seems to endlessly flutter down from the candyfloss coloured crowns of almost every tree in your neighbourhood.
It’s hotting up… the skies are blue with hardly a wisp of cloud to be seen, and the forecasters are telling us it’s going to be a heatwave. While the natural reaction to this may be to don your shorts, scoop buckets, spades and the kids into the car for a 10-hour drive to the coast to binge on fish ’n’ chips and 99s, spare a thought for the trees in your garden. The warm British summer may often be fleeting, but the heat and the drought it causes can be a killer if you don’t look after your garden’s shade-givers.
If you’re a homeowner or landlord looking for someone to maintain, or manage, the trees, bushes and hedges in your garden(s), then I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you were more than a little confused about who you should be calling for advice and assistance.
Most people know that a tree surgeon trims and cuts down trees, but various other terms seem to be used interchangeably with this one. Some tree people call themselves tree surgeons, others use the term arborist, while some use arboriculturalists. Some even use a combination of all three. But what is the difference, and which should you be seeking out to look after the pruning, cutting back and general health and wellbeing of your trees? You wouldn’t want to choose the wrong one and have a second-rate job done.