HERITAGE TREES

Identifying heritage trees
In my 37 years as an arborist I have come to know a great many trees. But every now and then, I meet a truly great tree that surpasses most trees in age, beauty,and splendor. It’s presence defines the property and sets it apart from surrounding properties. It is known not only to the owners of the property, but to most passerby, and it is often referred to when describing the area.
Just what is a “heritage tree?” A heritage tree meets any one or more of the following criteria. 1) 100 years or more. 2)3 1/2 feet diameter (dbh), 3)100 feet tall, or 4)planted by a famous person. It is also a key tree to a landscape and is visible to a large amount of
people.
These special trees need our help. Most of them are not properly cared for, and are in danger of succumbing to stress and dying. I recently lost a great beech tree because the owners of the property did not implement the care program I prescribed.
The primary stress factors to heritage trees are soil compaction, turf and turf care operations, and construction wounding. The care program I recommend is turf removal, possible soil excavation, and mulching to create a natural condition that the tree will thrive in.
I will talk more about so called “root circles” in my next blog.