Every time I pass by, it feels as though one of my own limbs has been cut off. Not seeing that tree that has always lived in that spot. Have you experienced this feeling? A neighbour that gets rid of a perfectly healthy tree? If you love trees and feel “cut up” about seeing one removed, I promise this article will help you cope.
An ancient proverb says: “The insight of a man certainly slows down his anger”. Below are a few “insights” about tree cutting that blew my mind and definitely helped dampen my feisty side. But first, let me get these two annoyingly “adult” uninteresting reasons out of the way.
- Insurance companies may not insure a house unless a tree is cut down.
- A tree’s root system can interfere with the water or sewage system, which usually ends with tree removal.
Boring Legit Reasons Why People Cut Healthy Trees
Right, now they are out of the way… the lesser known, more interesting tidbits! Let’s dig in…
Secret Ninja Psycho Killers
I like the image of a tree wheeling some numb chucks, fighting off tree cutters while making ninja sound effects. Unfortunately, in this situation, the tree isn’t the ninja.
The tree is just containing the menacing ninjas that are beating the heck out of it…on the inside…Ohhhh! So sad!
So, regular people like me will not probably notice, but our tree friends can be hurting on the inside. Trees that look good on the outside may have extensive internal damage. In cold places, you get “frost cracking”. Say a 1500kg branch (apparently, this weight is realistic) has a frost crack; add some wind, and you end up with a lethal weapon. In these conditions, a branch with such a crack may drop on a car, house, or worse yet, a person.
There is something even more prevalent that commonly attacks trees in Australia; bugs. Destructive termites or ants can make robust, mighty trees structurally unsound. Can you believe a tree can be infested and still have full growth with no dead limbs and a beautiful canopy? Me neither, but that is what the experts say happens.
Nasty Neighbour Poison Trees to Get a Better View
Picture this, you are walking along the busy street, looking out to the shore. And there is a group of trees that catch your eye. They look pretty sick; you look around and notice the lovely mansions behind you. Hmmm…suspicious. I’ve seen it a few times; maybe you have too. I usually whip some darkies towards the nearest property owners and think or mutter, “Scum bags just want a better view for their swanky dinner parties”. Turns out I might not know what I am talking about…
A tree traitor might be more to blame rather than mansion residents. Some tree species stop other plants from getting enough sunlight. If beneficial plants cannot grow roots, they won’t be able to hold the soil together. Meaning that shorelines can become unstable and wash away.
There are also these nasty shrubs that look like trees but are just fakes. Semi-poisonous, they ruin the soil by adding salt and removing nutrients, displace native species, can damage the habitat and diet of native birds and animals, spread like wildfire, and block a huge amount of sunlight from reaching the ground. With depleted soil, microarthropods thrive. That is a fancy term used for spiders, insects and mites. When these bugs run out of leaves and debris to eat, they go on a reproductive rampage, and since there are so many of them, they eat all of the dead leaves and twigs on the ground, leaving bare soil. These little bugs aren’t the baddies; they are usually helpful to soil ecology but must be kept at the correct ratio.
Basically, “fake trees” can change the soil’s composition so native trees cannot survive. Beneficial trees and plant life get sick and die.
So apologies for falsely judging anyone for sabotaging trees for your … I will stop wishing for The Tree Ninja to haunt your dreams.
REAL TREEMEN DON’T BUTCHER TREES
You may have seen that sticker on the back of cars, but definitely not on the bumper of a tree removalist truck, right? Despite my habit of being a know-it-all and jumping to conclusions, I made contact with some professional “treemen”, the guys at tree removal Lake Macquarie. To my surprise, they didn’t brag about tree carnage and destruction in between beer burps. In fact, quite the opposite.
They don’t call themselves tree cutters but Arborists. Also known as Tree Surgeons, Tree Doctors, Tree Scientists and even Tree Conservationists. They don’t describe their job at all like tree hackers or killers. Apparently, they prefer to keep trees healthy and very much in the ground.
I suspected this was just a line, and questioned what sort of jobs pay them the most; surely it was taking out a tree?
Their reply: Profit-wise, it makes more sense to tell a customer that you can save a tree if it’s adequately serviced every year instead of cutting it down.
They also helped me back off the local council workers who seem to like making trees look ugly and hacking limbs off. It just looks like they don’t know what they are doing. Turns out I might be wrong there too.
Australian native trees live a long time and also take a long time to form hollows for native animals and birds to live in. Even if one dies, your local council might allow it to be lopped, not cut down, so the animals still have a home. High five council workers!
Did these “insights” cool down your hot lava bubbling anger streaming towards those reprehensible healthy tree killers?
It turns out that sometimes cutting down a tree may help other plants and trees and even animals live their best lives. Sorry for the misplaced judgy looks sent towards tree guys, council workers, my neighbours and those poor souls who have to live in coastal mansions. I miss my tree friend, but I understand there may have been legitimate reasons he had to go.