People Harm More Trees Than Oak Wilt – Says Austin Tree Service

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( — May 9th, 2013) Austin, TX  —  Austin and several surrounding cities placed a ban on all pruning of oak trees.  Over the past twenty years, Austin has lost more than 10,000 oaks to the deadly and infectious oak wilt disease.  But in Central Texas, people certainly aren’t damaging or killing more trees than this natural spread of oak wilt, right? Well, according to 512 Tree Service, trees in many residential communities around Austin, are more likely to be (unintentionally) harmed by people than by any other source, and here’s why.

Oak wilt can be spread through the touching root systems of oak trees and by beetles that carry a fungus (Ceratocystis fagacearum that causes oak wilt) from tree to tree. The beetles are attracted by sap from openings (wounds) in a tree. This damage can be the result of a natural cause such as heavy winds, lightning, birds, squirrels, or other acts of nature, but all too frequently it’s due to a failure to immediately properly seal the cut using a non-phytotoxic tree wound dressing. That is one of the reasons why several Central Texas communities have placed a ban on oak tree trimming from Feb 1 to June 30 – the period when the beetles are most active.

Unlike us, trees can continue to grow unless they die from disease, insects, fire or other natural causes or acts of humans. But there are other man-made issues that harm or prevent trees from staying healthy.

Overcrowding! All too frequently, people plant too many trees too closely together. The result is that the trees fight for (light) space. Many species of Oak trees can grow for hundreds of years. Other (non-oak) species grow faster, but their life expectancy may be considerably shorter. The mistake too many homeowners make, is to plant trees too closely together preventing any of the trees to reach their full growth potential.

Stunting the growth of trees can also shorten their life. Therefore, Austin tree service companies usually recommend tree removal along with tree trimming when they encounter these situations. Tree removal may be necessary to allow the “prime” trees to develop a natural canopy. Culling out the weaker smaller trees allows the remaining tree branches to grow – thereby improving the health of the remaining trees, according to the experts at 512 Tree Service who also encourages biodiversity when planting trees.

Periodic tree trimming is necessary to lift the tree canopy and remove dead (diseased) tree branches. Lower and interior branches that are closer to the main tree trunk typically die as the newer growth takes place at the extremities of the tree.

Trees that have received on-going care from arborists tend to stay healthy but they also create a beautiful peaceful setting. A great example of this is Descanso Gardens, a 60?acre “retreat” located just 20 minutes northeast of Downtown LA in La Cañada Flintridge. Started in 1953, the founders took a section of natural forest and turned it into a well manicured botanical garden. The tall trees have been trimmed for decades giving the sense of a naturally shaded high dome – overhead.

Imagine your great, great grandchildren playing underneath a tree that you planted and groomed. It’s possible with proper planning and tree care.



512 Tree Service
1502 West Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 623.7704