Ask the Arborist

May: Ask the Arborist

Edward Heinrich is an arborist based in Solihull where he runs the practice Umberslade Arboriculture. The residents of Solihull often ask him questions, and each month, he’ll be sharing some of these, and the answers.

Q: David asks: ‘is there a good time to prune my Cherry tree?

A: This is a good question. Whilst some trees can be pruned throughout the year, others are more sensitive. Cherry, a member of the Prunus family, is sensitive to pruning. There is a fungus called Silver Leaf (Chondosterum purpureum) which can affect these trees. It can actually kill the tree before decay sets in. Once the tree has flowered and is in leaf, it can resist the fungus, but before then, it is vulnerable. I explain to clients that we are better to wait until the summer before pruning. Silver Birch is also sensitive to pruning, but for a different reason. It has a strong sap flow. If pruned when in leaf, the remaining foliage will usually be sufficient to take the sap from the roots. However, if the tree is pruned when not in leaf, sap can exude from the pruning wounds, where its sugary content is attractive to fungi.

June: Ask the Arborist

Edward Heinrich is an arborist based in Solihull where he runs the practice Umberslade Arboriculture. The residents of Solihull often ask him questions, and each month, he’ll be sharing some of these, and the answers.

Q: I have a tall tree in my rear garden. I am concerned that it is unsafe because it is tall. Am I correct?

A: This is a good question. Be reassured that a tree does not become unsafe simply because it is tall. Some trees, such as Oaks, Pines and Redwoods can become tall. Usually, when a tree becomes unsafe, there will be signs evident on the outside and on the ground. A tree condition inspection can be useful to reassure or inform. Most trees are safe.

Ask the Arborist: July

Edward Heinrich is an arborist based in Solihull where he runs the practice Umberslade Arboriculture. The residents of Solihull often ask him questions, and each month, he’ll be sharing some of these, and the answers.

Q: Ellen asks: I have bought a property on a new development, close to an oak tree. I want to build an extension and I have been told that I need to dig foundations two metres deep because of the tree roots. I have dug some trial pits, but there were no roots. Do I still need the foundations this deep?

A: What a good question. When we are building near to trees such as oak, there is concern about the soil shrinking in drought conditions. Oak can be a problem in such situations because it has deep roots which can absorb soil water at a lower level than other trees, such as Birch and Beech. Foundations often need to be dug deeper than the level where roots would be taking water. The depth is needed not to protect roots but to go deeper than them and protect the foundations

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