It’s winter in Blackridge, and most of our large trees are bare of leaves, so we can observe the branching structure, and plan appropriate pruning, which is best done in late winter or very early spring, before bud break. Winter is a good time to make the decision to carefully remove trees that have been weakened and disfigured by topping (aka “stubbing” or “heading”), and especially trees on which you can see fungal conks (aka “shelves” or “brackets”), indicating the tree is rotted and in danger of falling. (And I have seen a few of those in Blackridge.)
On the other hand, short of these extreme circumstances, or if a tree is dying, in a dangerous spot, or causing significant property damage, I am very hesitant to ever recommend removal of mature trees, and would recommend that you first consider the financial value of large shade trees, in addition to their dominant position in the micro-climates and ecosystems in your Blackridge yards. We are lucky to have so many mature trees in our neighborhood, helping to give it its special character. There are actual formulae in use to calculate the value of a large tree based on its size, species, condition, and location; estimates generally show a 10-20% increase in the value of your property, depending on these criteria.
Shade trees, both deciduous and evergreen, help cool our homes and neighborhood in the summer; serve to break the cold winds, especially from the northwest, to help lower heating costs in the winter; and provide habitat and food above and below ground for beneficial birds, insects, and other organisms—not to mention the other plants in your landscape—or yourselves.
If a mature tree must be removed, a certified arborist should be consulted and a thoughtfully-selected replacement tree should be planted. (Check a future blog post for a list of a few of my favorite shade trees.)
Leave a Reply.