Caring for Your Trees
General Tree Care Tips:
- Inspect your trees carefully during each season. If you have concerns about your trees, contact a qualified arborist for a thorough evaluation.
- Avoid planting brittle species where falling limbs could injure people or property.
- Prune trees when young and always use correct pruning methods - See the Mercer Island Guide to Pruning Basics for more information.
- Don't allow trees to be topped (see above handout for explanations).
- Use the "Right Plant, Right Place" practices when selecting trees for your landscape to thoroughly understand the potential size of the plants and their proximity to your house or power lines.
- Erect barriers around trees at, or beyond, the drip line during construction. This will help minimize construction damage.
How to Protect Trees During Construction
It is essential to provide extra care and protection for your trees during construction. Tree protection fencing established at or beyond the tree drip line is the best way to protect the valuable resource of trees. Fencing will alert all workers that they cannot disturb the area within the fence, thereby protecting the ability of the roots to obtain air, water, and nutrients. Fencing will prevent driving, parking of equipment, storage of construction supplies, dumping of waste or fill dirt, or grade changes within the drip line. Please contact the city arborist at (206) 275-7713 for effective mitigation measures and other "best constructions practices" regarding trees. Also see the handouts below for important information about protecting trees during construction.
Selecting a Tree Service Company
There are many excellent, well-trained arborists in our community. Services range from tree consultations and tree management plans to tree maintenance and tree removals. The certification process managed by The International Society of Arboriculture helps insure that you will be working with someone trained in tree identification, biology, worker safety, and proper pruning methods.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) also provides a series of useful brochures that discuss many of the basic principles of tree care, including : New Tree Planning, Why Hire an Arborist, Tree Values, Recognizing Tree Hazards, Why Topping Trees Hurts Trees, Benefits of Trees, and many more. Please visit the International Society of Arboriculture's website for more information and more resources.