Tree safety is not just for storms
With temperatures soaring across the country, it is important to be fire safety aware. According to the Rural Fire Service Queensland, to be at risk you just need to be close to a fire to be affected by burning material, embers and smoke. In Brisbane, that could be anywhere.
North Brisbane residents in particular are familiar with Council planned burns. There are a number of things you can do to ensure your property is safe:
- Ensure your house number is clear for emergency service crews
- Mow your lawn regularly
- Remove dry, long grass, dead leaves and branches on the ground
- Remove flammable items
- Trim branches away from buildings
- Keep gutters clear of leaf litter
- Enclose open areas under decks
- Make sure LPG cylinders are secured
- Check the first-aid kit is fully stocked
- Replace damaged roofing and seal gaps
- Download a Bushfire Survival Plan at ruralfire.qld.gov.au
Tim the Tree-Man can assist with removing trees, pruning branches, and dead wooding. We remove debris from tree work.
Every year, we hear the same warnings – clean your yard and prepare your house for storm season. If you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late to prepare the following:
- Check that your roof is in good condition.
- Trim overgrown tree branches which could land on your roof. Check with your local council if you’re unsure about which trees or branches you can legally cut, and never attempt to trim trees that are near powerlines.
- Fix any corrosion, rotten timber, termite infestations or loose fitting around the house.
- Set aside a weekend to clean drains, gutters and downpipes regularly, and especially after a long dry spell. Even if you have gutter shields, you need to tackle the mildew and dirt that accumulates in gutters.
- Clear the yard of rubbish – take it to the tip, or store it under the house until the next council hard-rubbish collection. Loose items such as children’s toys and broken tools can become missiles in a storm.
- Do you know how to safely turn off your power, water and gas? If not, it’s time to learn.
- (Source: The Sunday Mail Summer Weather Survival Guide 2017/18)
Trim overgrown tree branches that could damage your property
A note about trimming overgrown tree branches
Wherever possible, Tim the Tree-Man only prunes to Australian Standards, AS 4373-2007, and does not partake in ‘tree lopping’. Correct pruning of a tree is crucial for the health, safety and longevity of the tree.
Some properties are covered under local laws which may prevent you from removing trees without approval. These laws may affect the property if it is:
- Near a river or a waterway
- That is a significant landscape tree
- In a bushland area
- In an emerging community zone or other urban area with large trees.
Tim the Tree-Man performs council checks on all quoted properties prior to work commencing.
Tree removal should be done by a qualified Arborist
An Arborist, by definition, is an individual trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Hiring an Arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Trees that are well cared for are attractive and can add considerable aesthetic value to your property. Poorly maintained trees can become a significant liability. Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees. Tim the Tree-Man specialises in large tree removal.
In addition, an Arborist studies the bio-mechanics of trees; growth, cultivation, reactions to pruning, pests and diseases and all the practical aspects of tree surgery. As a qualified Arborist, Tim the Tree-Man’s job is more generalised than a “tree lopper”. Tim the Tree-Man cares for the health of the entire tree, much like that of a family Doctor.
An Arborist, like Tim the Tree-Man, can determine what type of pruning is best for the individual tree to maintain its health and improve its appearance and safety. If your tree maintenance requires a ladder or a chainsaw, an Arborist is required.
Similarly, tree removal is dangerous and should be done by a qualified Arborist. Tim the Tree-Man can help determine if a tree should be removed and has the trained staff, skills and equipment to safely and efficiently remove your unwanted trees.
Storms can cause major damage to limbs or entire trees. These trees need to be removed or trimmed to lessen the long-term damage to the tree and surrounding property. This is also dangerous work, and should be performed by a qualified Arborist.
Finally, planting the right tree in the right place is important for the long term health of the tree. Tim the Tree-Man can recommend the appropriate tree for your desired location and assist in proper planting.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an overview for Spring. How will this affect your trees?
• The spring outlook, shows rainfall is likely to be below average in southwest Australia, and above average in parts of southeast Queensland.
• Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for northern and south-eastern Australia.
• Spring nights are likely to be warmer than average over northern and eastern Australia, though frost risk remains in areas with clear skies and dry soils.
What does this mean for your trees?
Weather affects trees in many ways, be it obvious or not so obvious. While a tree broken by a gust of wind is easily visible, large trees may not show the effects of drought for several years. Weather related stress can make trees more susceptible to disease and insect problems and trees can even be killed by extreme weather events.
Generally, trees grow faster with increasing air temperatures. However, extreme heat increases moisture loss and can also slow growth. Extreme hot or cold soil temperatures can also affect tree growth. Many trees require a number of cool days before growth recommences in spring. Wide temperature fluctuations, like we’ve had here in Brisbane, can be hard on trees, particularly in winter. Warm days followed by freezing nights can cause bark injury on certain trees.
The effects of too much or too little rain can be temporary or permanent, depending on the type of tree. Lack of water damages cells, resulting in decreased growth, wilting, leaf scorch, leaf drop and also root damage. Too much water reduces the amount of oxygen in the soil, resulting in root damage. It can also make the tree more susceptible to many fungal diseases. Heavy rain can damage trees, compact soil, and cause erosion. Just as wind can dry out trees, reducing disease, however, it can also remove water faster than the trees can replace it. As we have experienced in Brisbane, high winds can do considerable damage to trees.
Ways to minimise damage to trees:
• Choose trees that are well suited to your area and growing conditions. Native plants are usually a great choice. Local Councils have a free trees program.
• Keep trees healthy. Healthy trees are better able to deal with stress of all kinds.
• Try to maintain an even moisture level. Water as needed and mulch.
• Have any issues dealt with quickly.
All you can do is stay aware of weather conditions and try to protect trees as best you can. And if the worst happens, give Tim the Tree-Man a call.
We might be perceived to be in the business of “chopping down trees,” however, trees are precious and a necessity of the environment to provide a habitat for wildlife and the quality of our lives. As an Arborist, I believe it is crucial we protect trees. Well maintained trees help produce oxygen, provide shade which in turn helps keep temperatures down, helps reduce noise and pollution levels and naturally make our environment aesthetically pleasing to the eye. As much as possible, I care for the tree, opting to save its integrity, by carefully selecting the best course of action, and not lopping branches off to the detriment of the tree.