Five Most Common Tree Care Mistakes on Commercial Properties

Trees may look very strong and resilient, but not everyone knows the expanse of effort that has to be taken to make them look so. Yes, trees are independent beings and can live without our help, but if you have decided to grow one in your yard, you may want to take up the whole responsibility to make it look robust.

Tree pruning is a very important method which you should undertake for the health of your trees. Pruning is not anyone’s job, and that is why you should be calling only the experts for the same. If done improperly, it can disfigure the trees to such a level that it might just be impossible to help it recover. So the bottom line is, do not consider by any means, tree care services such as pruning and topping a DIY thing. And most importantly, when it comes to tree care, never go for cheaper alternatives as it is most likely to cost you highly in the long run.

A buddy of mine who owns told me about these 5 common mistakes. Listen and Learn.

Common Mistakes

Improper Tree Topping

Topping trees does not exactly come under the list of “desired tree care services”. The reason behind this is the fact that tree topping may leave your trees unhealed. The unhealed wounds will become a breeding place for the pests and the defence mechanism of the trees start to decrease, causing it to rot. This is a potential threat to the society as well. Another point to be noted is that a topped tree will never be able to regain its original form in the future, thus making it look shabby and unappealing.

Improper Pruning

Another mistake that has been noted is improper tree pruning. Pruning refers to the cutting down or the removal of unwanted and dead branches. But if done carelessly, healthy branches might also be trimmed. Removing healthy branches is the worst mistake anyone could make. It would leave the trees to die of starvation as the healthy branches that were cut down contained green leaves, the food factory of trees.

Cutting the branches too close to the main trunk is another wrong technique, which will lead to unhealed wounds. These wounds would be infested by pests and thus lead to the deterioration of the health of the tree.

Excessive Pruning

Some people tend to believe that if a tree is pruned very often, it would grow back stronger and better. This is a fallacy, a myth. It is important to know that over pruning will do more harm than good to your trees. This is so because the trees will lose their healthy branches, and hence it would not be able to survive as there would be no supplier of nutrients. It is said that more than 15%-20% of the tree foliage should not be cut down.


Mechanically Impaired Trees

Keep your lawn mowers in check. These machines may potentially cause damage to the trees, leading to unhealed wounds. These injuries caused to the trees will definitely make them more susceptible to infestation and diseases.

Not getting the professionals to do it

Always contact professionals for such sensitive jobs as a normal civilian will not be able to provide the trees with perfect care services. Only with experience and knowledge can a person judge the situation as to decide which service would be best and where it needs to be applied

Major pests and insects which cause diseases in trees

Just like human, trees which have not been taken good care of, are prone to diseases and pest infestations. Good care of trees means that they are timely pruned, appropriately trimmed, well sprayed, and properly checked for any other sign of disease.

The most common pests include,

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These are larvae of various plant chewing insects, wasps, or beetles. They mostly invade weak or young trees and usually feed unnoticed from inside the roots, barks as well as the trunk. They eventually lead to inhibited food and water flow in the plant and if not controlled can lead to eventual death of the tree.

The main signs of attack are saw dust like materials coming from the bark; it may also appear swollen and calloused. The twigs and leaves also start to get discolored and eventually falls off and dies.

The best control mechanism is to ensure that you maintain good health in your trees by fertilizing, mulching as well as the use of proper pruning practices. These beetles lay their eggs on open areas of the bark of a tree.

Balsam woolly Adelgid

These exclusively feed on coniferous plants. They pierce the hemlock and Abies trees respectively. Hemlock is not a commercial tree but is mostly grown for aesthetic purposes or forms food to wild animals. They are shade tolerant trees, and this makes them the right target for the soft-bodied aphid-like insects.

Use of pesticides can control infestations. Invasion is exhibited by the presence of large cotton masses on twigs and bases of hemlock needles. The main issue is that the cotton like covering is resistant to pesticides and you may be required to spray severally.

You can also try using insecticidal soaps as well as horticultural oils. Another natural source being used to eradicate these insects is breeding of Sasajiscymnus Tsuga and Laricobius Nigrinus beetles which exclusively feed on these aphids.

Emerald ash borer

These mostly invade the ash trees. The undeveloped beetle larvae feed on the bark of the tree. An infected tree may start dying from the top downwards. Eventually, the leaves change color and fall prematurely.

Ash trees are the most ones affected by these larvae, and they spread very fast since their eggs hatch only 10-days after being laid. The larvae also take one to two years to develop and in all this time it is still burrowed in the tree.

Pesticides and insecticides should be used when you see the slightest invasion on an ash tree. The greatest challenge in controlling the emerald ash beetles is their mobility as they can migrate from one area to another and return when the chemical effect meant to kill them settles down.

Gypsy moth

It lays eggs on hardwood trees and when the larvae hatch they proceed to feed on the tree. Excess infestation on a tree can cause eventual drying of the tree.


The best sure way to ensure your trees are protected is to exercise proper tree maintenance practices.

  • Ensure proper trimming and pruning
  • Avoid inflicting wounds on trees.
  • Disinfect the soil before planting trees.
  • Spray pesticides and insecticides if you see any signs of aphid’s infections
  • Cut off and burn affected parts of the leaves and branches.