There are many kinds of insects that attack trees, such as the gypsy moth, Sirex woodwasp, and emerald ash borer. Many of these species are invasive and do not have natural predators in this area to keep their populations in check. Trees may look big and strong, but they are vulnerable, and pests could bring about a need for tree removal in Kitchener if they kill one or more of your trees. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your trees from pests.
1. Wrap Your Trees in Winter
The trunk and branches of your tree are covered with a protective outer layer called bark. It works sort of like a suit of armour to protect the vulnerable inner layers of the tree. However, if there is a crack in the bark, insect pests can crawl inside and damage the tree.
On winter days, sunshine can warm the water within the tree, causing it to contract. As the sun goes down, temperatures start to drop, causing the water to cool and expand. This contraction and expansion can happen very quickly and put stress on the tree. If the stress is great enough, the bark can crack.
Wrapping the tree helps to keep it warm during the winter and protects it from the sun. You can use craft paper, corrugated cardboard, burlap, or polypropylene fabric to wrap your trees. You should wrap them in November and leave them wrapped until April.
2. Have Your Trees Trimmed
Having your trees trimmed allows you to get rid of any dead or diseased branches. This should be done during winter because the weight of the snow could cause them to snap. Tree pruning helps facilitate air circulation among the branches. Though there are fewer leaves after pruning, the leaves that remain are able to absorb the most sunlight because there are no others in their way to block the sun.
Pruning otherwise healthy branches is something you should only leave to professionals. If you do not know what you are doing, you could inadvertently hurt the tree by taking too many branches. Even if you do not hurt the tree, the end result may not be aesthetically pleasing. There is also a safety issue if you attempt to remove large branches without knowing which way they will fall.
3. Clean Up Your Yard
Insects are attracted to clutter, so generally speaking, keeping your yard neat may prevent an infestation, or at least allow you to see the early signs of one more clearly. More specifically, remove any fallen branches from your yard as soon as possible as insects tend to be attracted to wet, dead wood. Clean up dead leaves and fallen fruit as they could contain contagions.
4. Inspect Your Trees Often
It is fairly easy to take your trees for granted, but performing frequent inspections could help you prevent an infestation. Look for insect pests on the trees as well as other possible signs of infection:
- Holes in the trunk or branches
- Frass, i.e., sawdust or shavings where insects have dug tunnels in wood
- Holes in leaves from insects or larvae eating
- Discolouration of leaves
If the problem seems localized to only one branch, or only a few, you may be able to prevent a large-scale infestation by having the affected branches pruned. Quick action on your part could save the tree, whereas hesitation could allow the infestation to spread. If the problem seems more widespread, you should ask a tree service professional for recommendations.
Sometimes it is obvious when a tree needs to come down; other times you may wonder, “Do I need tree removal service near me?” Martin’s Tree Service has years of experience on which to base a recommendation. Contact us for a tree removal assessment.