TLC makes big difference on a wooded lot

Recently I was called out to look at a 1-acre property in a nicely wooded subdivision.  Several trees were dead or dying.  Many were under attack from wood destroying insects.  All of the trees had been neglected and there was quite a bit of work to do to get this property in tip top shape.

The history behind the lot was that the developer of the subdivision had made the mistake of burying several healthy trees as he was subdividing into lots and clearing native overgrown ground cover.  Eight years of suffocation claimed the lives of dozens of trees in the neighborhood.  But my customer had a simple request: make it look the best you can.

I walked the property with the customer and identified the healthy looking trees as well as the candidates for removal.  The customer said he had never considered how removing certain trees could improve the health of the most desirable trees.  I pointed out how a less desirable tree could be consuming water and nutrients that we prefer to be used by the larger, healthier specimens.

Several large, mature trees were being overcrowded by younger trees so we began to identify which smaller trees would need to go.  As the process went on, the customer began to see the larger, mature trees emerge from crowd and begin to take shape.  We explained that this would improve the health and beauty of the desirable trees and give us an opportunity to make them stand out.

Dead or near dead trees were immediately marked for removal.  One especially large tree was very close to the home and loomed over the roof of the house.  This tree was removed in sections and roped safely to the ground.  Once we cut down some of the dead trees, an inspection of the trunks and roots gave us an indication of what was causing the problems.  The culprit: wood destroying insects.  Some of these trunks were completely eaten out from the middle and had large cavities full of ants.

We immediately mixed up 20 gallons of insecticide (safe for trees) and began treating the property, spraying the ground, base, and tree trunks with a recommended product.  We recommended that we return to the property once a week for a two month to re-treat the trees and any other areas that looked like they needed it.

After four days of solid work, we walked the property again with the customer.  What a difference!  This job produced four very large trailer-loads of tree garbage which were hauled to the local recycling center for decomposition and reuse.  Several of the little struggling trees were gone, addressing the overcrowding issues.  Old stumps and new stumps were removed.  Dead branches and low hanging branches had been removed.  Dead trees were gone.  The large, scary tree hanging over the house was gone. The insecticide had begun to take effect and the ants were beginning to subside.

I don’t think the customer had a vision for how good his property could look but now he could see what I saw before we started.  Our Tree Service & Removal of Alexandria has an experienced arborist working in the Northern Virginia area providing expert tree service advice and work.