Talking Trees: Fact or Fiction?

September 29, 2011

Arborists receive a lot of questions every day about things going on with their client’s landscapes at home. For more seasonal tree care tips, visit 

Jim Houston, Davey Tree Service expert and ISA certified arborist, takes a look at some of your most frequently asked tree questions and answers whether they are indeed fact or fiction.

Question #1: My tree just suddenly died.
Trees are always giving us signs that something is not right. We need to be monitoring and looking for those problems to prevent tree death. 

Question #2: Is planting a tree too high a common mistake in the urban landscape?
When you do not see root flares, you’ve planted a tree too deep. Planting too deep is the most common mistake that we see in the urban landscape. It causes long-term problems as the tree develops later in life.

Question #3: Do I need to fertilize my trees?
If your backyard is a forest, a tree’s natural environment, then you do not need to fertilize. You have the organic leaf litter on the forest floor, a very rich, arid environment. A lot of oxygen and water can get to the root system. You have falling debris, falling trees, falling branches; all break down and put the nutrients back in the soil. 

However, the urban landscape where our trees are planted is a much different environment. We add grass over the root system of the plants. It acts as a sponge. The water source comes down as rain and that turf just soaks up the moisture before the tree can get it. 

Incorporating a slow release fertilizer on an annual basis is a proactive approach to maintain and keep your landscape investment healthy.
• Provides nutrients that we’ve removed
• Aerates the soil
• Provides resistance against secondary issues, such as disease and insects

Contact your local professionally trained arborist to schedule a regular tree inspection.

Previous Video
How to Prepare Your Trees for Summer Storms
How to Prepare Your Trees for Summer Storms

Do healthy landscape trees endure summer storms better than unhealthy trees? They do. How can you keep your...

Next Video
Managing EAB in Your Community: You Have Options!
Managing EAB in Your Community: You Have Options!

If you live in the Midwestern US or Canada, you’re probably familiar with Emerald Ash Borer – or EAB and th...