Urban trees are important for our climate. Due to environmental influences and climate change, however, they become ill and later on become weak. With this condition, these trees may tip over anytime causing danger for pedestrians and traffic. But do such trees always have to be felled immediately?
Going for a walk in the park in summer or relaxing under a tree on a bench: city trees are irreplaceable, especially when temperatures are high. They provide shade and oxygen and are often an oasis of calm. But the trees suffer from heat, drought, new pests, exhaust fumes, soil compaction, and road salt. Chester tree surgeons and tree appraisers like Daniela Antoni come together to help save these old city trees. With the right measures, almost no tree has to be felled.
This is how old city trees can be helped
Daniela Antoni started her own business as a tree appraiser two years ago. The graduate forest scientist’s customers are municipalities and private individuals. Antoni checks the condition of the tree by tapping the trunk with a hammer. The Stockstadt native can use the sound to detect cavities and rot in the tree. Later, a special measuring device is used. The tree inspector uses it to assess the residual wall thickness of the trunk. If the measured value is critical, there are ways to help the tree: “A special fungus can be introduced through the soil, which strengthens the tree. But what actually always works is the right tree pruning – i.e. tree care.”
Trees that cannot be saved
But there are also exceptions: “The tree has to be cut down,” admits Antoni. This applies to trees that have completely died. Even if the tree is attacked by a fungus that is also dangerous for humans, it must be felled. An example is sooty bark disease on maple trees. If a person inhales the black fungus spores, severe allergic reactions can occur – hacking cough, fever, chills, and shortness of breath.
Some tree species will go in extinction due to globalization and climate change. In addition to fungi and drought, harmful insects also play a role. Some pests have only settled in the region in recent years as a result of globalization and climate change. Tree surveyor Antoni fears that biodiversity will suffer as a result.
Preservation of old city trees
Antoni fights for the preservation of the city’s old trees with good reason. She says: “These trees will bring us something now and hopefully for a long time to come. They improve air quality, lower temperatures, and also support biodiversity with regard to animals. The newly planted trees will only bring the same benefits in 60 to 70 years .” The tree inspector doubts that all the newly planted trees in the cities will really survive.
Young trees need the right starting help
Far too often, the young trees are not given the right starting aid. According to Antoni, this includes trunk protection against the sun’s rays, such as a reflective white coat of paint or reed mats. In addition, a support frame like a tripod is used so that the tree can grow steadily. Watering bags and sufficient irrigation are also important: “Otherwise there is no chance of it becoming a promising old tree at all.”