Tree pruning and care

Tree care

Treetec provides tree care and pruning services, our team of arborists specialise in the care of high value / high amenity trees and gardens, working with owners to preserve trees; maintaining both their health and structure.

Treetec provide tree treatments, pruning, cabling and guidance particularly in relation to tree establishment, preservation and managing those trees situated near structures and high use areas.

Based on the eastern side of Melbourne Treetec provides services across Victoria.

Treetec is not a Tree Removal or Tree Lopping business.

Tree pruning

Ideally trees would not be pruned, they are a ‘self optimising’ forest-dwelling organism that would prefer we not bring our chainsaws to the conversation.  However trees in proximity to infrastructure and people require management.

the expert application of pruning can greatly increase the length of time a tree can safely be retained near people or in urban settings.

Most commonly pruning involves managing the size or growth of a tree, reducing loads and removing structural defects such as sections of decay, poor unions, co-dominant leaders and deadwood.  Often pruning is initiated once a tree is mature and perceived risk is high however the best time to prune is in the formative stages.

Formative pruning is more efficient, better for the tree and provides much higher ROI.  Formative pruning can remove structural problems and establish good form that can eliminate many future problems.

Pruning can increase the ecological value of a tree. Treetec is a leader in habitat research and we bring a unique team of skilled ecologists and arborists.

Tree amenity value

Trees can provide enormous amenity value to an area.  The value is usually multifaceted including aesthetic, ecological and financial.  Large trees take a long time to grow, they are usually a multi-generational asset and their preservation and care require careful management.

Whilst amenity is subjective and to some people a tree can present a problem, very often good care (including pruning) can deliver a solution to those problems; be they risk or views or ‘mess’.

Heritage trees

Large old trees are rarely enjoyed by the person who planted them, if you are the custodian of a significant tree you should keep in mind the choices you make can impact whether a massively valuable asset is retained for the next 2 years or 200.

Do not start cutting (canopy or roots) of an older tree without proper consideration and consultation, a tree lopper with a small saw or a weekend warrior with a Dingo digger can very quickly destroy an irreplaceable living treasure.

What is bad pruning

Research shows that both the position of a cut and the amount of cutting can have significant, long term impacts on a tree, therefore an arborist with poor training can very quickly do irreparable damage.

Many significant trees have been permanently damaged through flush cuts, leaving stubs, over cutting into the cambium, removing too much foliage from a tree or from a section of a tree, unbalancing trees, ‘lion tailing’ Tree Lopping, Tree Topping, damaging cambiums through spurring, bashing, rope burns etc.

Additionally a tree can be harmed through inaction – the early identification and management of defects will assist the long term retention and value of a tree in an urban setting.

Trees and soil – buildings near trees

Trees require their roots, roots require soil – damaging soil will impact trees but very often that damage will not be evident for some years.  It is imperative for the longevity of a tree that the ground nearby is not damaged, compacted, excavated, drainage altered or somehow polluted.

Works can occur relatively close to trees but it requires good planning – Treetec can help with this.

Tree cabling, props and cages

There are a range of engineering treatments for trees, cabling is a common practice, also limbs can be propped and various structures created to help trees or somehow mitigate risk.  These engineering solutions can allow a tree to be retained for many years beyond what they may have otherwise been.

Tree cabling

Cables can be non-invasive avoiding the need to wound a tree, they can be drilled / bolted.  Some are loose, others tight, depending on the situation.   Cabling solutions are engineered specifically for the situation.

Legal questions around cabling

There exists a legal conundrum related to tree cabling:  someone identifies within a tree a ‘defect’ which increases risk – so you decide to install a cable to mitigate that risk.  What happens if some part of that tree then fails causing injury?  And nearly all cable systems will require monitoring, what happens if that monitoring does not happen?

Our approach to cabling is one of caution, we are passionate about using the best knowledge and technology to preserve trees so far as is possible, this includes the use of cabling systems.  However cabling systems need to be carefully considered and designed taking into account the species, age, value of a tree and the associated risk.

Trees and buildings

Trees can impact a building in a few ways:

  • Physically ‘pushing’ a structure through the growth of trunk, branches or roots
  • Altering the soil through localised removal of water – in reactive (clay) soils this may move soil enough to cause structural cracks and damage to nearby buildings
  • Branches or trunks falling on buildings
  • Roots in pipes, leaves in gutters, seeds in pools etc

The best solution to all these situations is good planning – talk to an arborist before building or planting.  Once the situation exists it can usually be mitigated without requiring full tree removal, again; talk to an arborist.

Tree risk

Humans often damage trees but trees have mastered stoicism.  On the other hand the most commonly reported problem is the fear that a tree or branch will fall on someone, the reality is that this is rare, statistically speaking this is one of the LOWEST risks we face in modern life, even for people who live near large trees.

Strangely though a lot of people still find a trees presence stressful so here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Trees rarely drop large sections
  • Trees usually drop large sections in storms, and people don’t often sit, play or walk near trees during storms
  • We often take trees for granted and need to balance our perceived risk or the inconvenience against the immense value that trees provide to a site

Melbourne Arborist