City grown trees do not have it easy. The air is heavily polluted, the soil is low quality and severely compacted, their roots don’t have the space to spread, their canopy can’t grow as wide as would normally be the case, and the elements attack them from all sides with ice, snow, heavy winds, too much light, and too much moisture. And as if all that weren’t already enough, there is also mechanical damage to think of.
What is mechanical damage?
As the name would suggest, such damage is mechanically inflicted upon a tree, most often through the impact of an object, such as a car, lawn mower, backhoe, chainsaw, or string trimmer. The result of such an impact is an open wound that is sometimes severe enough to lead to the tree’s early demise.
Because of this, some places across the city have introduced a system in which the person responsible for a car accident can be held responsible for resulting tree damages. This is enforced by bringing in an arborist working with a Tree Service in Bay Area CA who will inspect the damaged tree and determine whether it can be saved or will need to be removed. If removal is necessary, a fine will be placed upon the responsible party which will cover the costs for the removal of both tree and stump.
How does mechanical damage affect a tree?
As already mentioned, mechanical damage is the result of impact with an object. Upon impact, the cambium layer of the tree will be damaged which, in turn, disturbs the sap flow, especially in younger trees. With the tree thus already being weakened, it is also less likely to withstand infestation and disease. Unfortunately, the risk of both of these damages is heavily increased due to the damaged areas on the tree which serve as entry points for bacteria and insects. You need to protect your trees and oftentimes, DIY care leads to such damages on your own property. Using chainsaw and other tools isn’t easy and can cause additional damage.
How can I protect trees from mechanical damage?
First and foremost, you should be a safe driver. Primarily for your own sake of course, but also for your passengers, and for the trees. Stick to the speed limit and be aware that trees may block your sight and thus require you to slow down.
Another smart thing to do is to mulch around the trunk of your trees in order to remove the need to get close with a lawn mower or string trimmer. This will also stop people and machinery from getting too close which significantly reduces the risk of compacting the soil.