(GMH/FgB) A dream! An oasis! A little refuge where you would have least suspected it! Some cities may not seem very green at first glance, but behind the facades of the houses there is often a completely different world: small but fine gardens and secluded backyards create a very special atmosphere, to which an astonishingly high number of trees contributes in no small measure. Ornamental cherries, birches, spruces and even some walnut trees form a breathing green mosaic over walls and fences.
Arborists try to avoid having to cut down a tree. If it is unavoidable, however, they manage to do it even in confined spaces. With the aid of rope-assisted climbing techniques, they work directly on and in the tree. (Picture credits: GMH/Specialist association of certified arborists)
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One of the lucky ones to whom these "secret gardens" regularly open up is Jorg Cremer from the Association of Certified Arborists. The association chairman is himself a specialist agriculturist for tree care and tree renovation and has been looking after countless backyard heroes for the past 30 years. "Trees in residential areas increase the quality of life and property value. To ensure that they are preserved for a long time, however, they must be properly cared for. In densely populated areas, this is all the more important, because incorrectly pruned or wildly growing trees quickly become a safety risk," summarizes Cremer.
Early advice comes cheaper
But how to care for a tree when the expertise is lacking and the crown has long outgrown the sphere of the household ladder?? This is where professional arborists often come into play – in the best case much earlier, in the worst case only when the tree needs to be cut down. "In the ideal case we accompany a tree already in its youth phase: Who remains the first 15 years at the ball and every two, three years the professional ran lets, must intervene later only rarely. You save money and gain an attractive, long-lasting tree," the tree expert explains.
For pruning and felling, the arborists use different methods depending on the location: "Most often, we use rope-climbing techniques or aerial work platforms. With the help of the climbing technique we can manage even on the smallest plots of land and reach the highest trees. When felling, we take the tree apart piece by piece, starting from the leading shoot, and rope off the pieces in a controlled manner. We shred the stump into wood chips with the help of a stump grinder. So no one has to fear devastation in the garden – on the contrary, it’s often tidier afterwards than it was before."
It only gets really expensive in exceptional cases, such as when property owners have delayed the inevitable for too long and a severely damaged tree is too unsafe even for the most accomplished climbers. Then a crane may have to be used from time to time.
"The tree must go"
The most common reasons for felling are not diseased or over-aged trees. "The tree is a nuisance because it obscures the dwelling, because it needs more needles or sheds more leaves, or because it has become unsightly – often due to incorrect pruning by the property owner or by non-specialist companies that only perform tree care as a sideline," Jorg Cremer points out. The advice of the arborists can then go in different directions. "As arborists, trees are close to our hearts, so we like it best when we can find a convincing alternative to cutting them down. This is also very often successful, for example with targeted pruning, soil remediation or corrective pruning that restores the harmony of the crown."
If only a felling comes into question, the professionals advise also to all legal interests, from the request of the felling permission up to questions of the federal nature protection law or the local tree protection statute. "Certified arborists can also not only provide competent advice on the subject of replacement planting, they often also act as experts for local authorities. Accordingly, their assessment carries weight if, for example, replacement plantings were ordered by the authorities without local knowledge and do not appear to make much sense in practice," explains the expert.
Tree care: How to find the right company
The term arborist is not legally protected. Who would like to go on the safe side, decides for a member enterprise of the professional association of examined arborists. It is the only association that only accepts certified arborists, and provides its own low-cost events to ensure that its members receive in-depth training.