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Natural Guard Tree Care


We believe in the highest form of tree care. Therefore, there are jobs that we won't do. We won't butcher your trees. We won't remove living trees without good reason. We won't trim trees using climbing spikes. But if you want to craft a view without harming a tree, for instance, or remove some sapling firs to free up a Great Oak, thin a big fir to reduce its likelihood of wind-throw, remove blighted branches from a big Madrona, take care of that tricky removal, or plan a project around the trees, give us a call.

There are five popular forms of tree abuse that we avoid:

#1 Topping: Abrupt amputation of the tops of trees looks wrong, and large cuts have difficulty closing and lead to decay. Topping also causes trees to bush out so thickly that the "sail effect" and leverage against their roots is increased, making them more likely to fail in severe winds. Thinning works better to defend wind throw.

#2 Planting Grass Throughout Their Drip-line: Grass is greedy. Every square foot of soil surface area can only provide for a finite amount of leaf surface area -- and grass is so fine leafed, it has a huge amount of surface area. Mulching is a way to approximate the moist and fertile organic layer in a forest floor.

#3 The Use of Chemical Fertilizers, Herbicides and Pesticides: Chemical fertilizers destroy essential mycorrhizal fungus that grows on the absorbing roots of trees. In exchange for sugars, they give back vastly increased absorption of water, air and nutrients. Most herbicides intended for weeds can also damage shade and ornamental trees when absorbed through the roots. Indiscriminate use of pesticides often does more harm than good, like killing beneficial insects, worms and fungi. Integrated pest management works better -- finding the natural control for a problem.

#4 Use of Climbing Spikes on Any Tree Except for Removals: Spikes put a sharp jagged hole in the side of the tree with each step, providing an entry point for water and decay. Arborists replace spikes with skilled rope work.

#5 Removing Branches with Flush Cuts: The branch collar at the base of each branch must be preserved when removing a branch, or decay spreads into the main trunk of the tree. This small detail is one important difference between healthy pruning and mere butchery.

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