Recently, while working on a tree removal project in Arlington, VA, I bumped into a technician from the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation named Karsten Ziemann. Mr. Ziemann said that he was particularly happy to be doing his job that day. "Usually I'm killing things, but today I get to plant things!" he exclaimed. He went on to explain to me that his department is endeavoring to reclaim some of the county's park space from non-native invasive weeds. To accomplish this, Mr. Ziemann and his colleagues are planting specimens of the native variety of underbrush to compete with the non-natives. One might wonder why such an effort would be made to control weeds. Before you write to your elected official about wasting tax dollars, let me assure you that this is a good thing! Invasive non-native weeds (especially vines) are a serious threat to the native species of trees that we enjoy here. In fact, researchers at Cornell University have estimated an annual cost to our nation's economy at $120 billion.
Let's back up for a moment. How can weeds be such a problem? After all, they're plants, producers of oxygen, green, flowering, carbon-consuming, animal-feeding.... our friends, right? The problem is that some species are newcomers to our region and, when allowed to go unchecked, become quite disruptive to the local ecology. So, just as we have introduced them to our area, we should manage them if we are to be good stewards of our ecosystem. Non-native plant species can eventually overwhelm the native species by crowding them out and over-consuming nutrients and light. The result is an unnatural change in the growth of our urban forest. Simply put, the trees that make Northern Virginia so beautiful can lose their homefield advantage and become endangered.
After speaking with my new friend in Arlington, I thought to myself how the Arlington Parks situation applies to me and many of my clients as well. Many of us have a little piece of the urban forest right on our properties. We cherish the older native trees that were here when we moved in. They tower over our little oasis below, providing shade, peace, and an air of regency and heritage that only old trees can. Below them we add to the landscape with ornamental species that give a more eye-level gratification. Harmony is preserved so long as the new, under-canopy species are managed. However, sometimes it gets away from us and the new species begin to take over and overwhelm the forest. That is where intervention becomes necessary in order to bring balance back to the forest. The level of intervention is dependent upon how far the alien invasion has been permitted to progress.
Some of the most common offenders of this problem include English Ivy (Hedera helix), Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), and Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). For the most part, they can all be permitted to share space in the landscape, but need management by pruning and the addition of native species to preserve balance.
For more information about this, visit the site for the National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
Free Arborist Consultation
An ISA certified arborist will contact you within 24 hours.
More About Tree Care
Pro Arbor Revived Trees for Golf Club Six Red Sunset Maples flanking the entrance of the clubhouse caused great concern that if any of them failed it would destroy the symmetry of the landscape.
Why we do tree canopy inspections When trees do get attacked by insects, diseases or large trucks, they can become hazardous.
Oak Wilt in Trees This is a fungal disease that has devastating effects on Oak trees of all varieties and ages.
Tree Roots Invading the Lawn There is precious little space to grow turf grass and flowers in a suburban lawn. When there is a large tree in the way that task can seem nearly impossible.
Tree Damage from Snow Storms The fibers on the outside of the bend have been put under tension
Snow damaged trees and your landscape restoration The question most asked of arborists is, "Can you save it?"
Invasive Weeds and Tree Species "Usually I'm killing things, but today I get to plant things!"
Dangerous Downed Trees from Storm Damage In both cases the trees were broken on their main stems causing the tops to fall toward the house.
Carpenter Ants in Oak Tree Trunk Please do not fill a cavity in a tree with anything.
River Birch Tree with Leaning Problem The best way to address the issue is to have one of Pro Arbor's certified arborists come out and visually assess the tree's current condition.
Leyland Cypress Trees I was told that it was either the soil or more likely the weight of the extensive snow we had this past winter that stressed many of the branches.
Tree Care, Circling and Girdling Tree Roots If this is done before the tree is planted, and the tree is planted properly, then there should be no circling or girdling issues as it grows.
Review of Pro Arbor Tree Service in Arlington, VA As promised, I'm sharing the information of the company we went ahead with for the removal of our plum tree.
Tree Risk Assessments Tree risk assessing involves determining the risk that a tree poses to your family, your property, and the other trees around it.
Tree Root Irrigation Bag Trouble The bags were full, and the trees were mulched with a 3" layer of composted hardwood mulch
Tree Roots Invading Foundation I have been asked about the possibility of tree roots compromising basement foundations quite a lot lately.
Help/advice on planting new 3 ft trees Summer is an especially challenging time of year to plant a tree. The heat is very hard on the roots.
Altoona PA Tree Service Company, ProArbor If this is done before the tree is planted, and the tree is planted properly, then there should be no circling or girdling issues as it grows.
More About Tree Services in Arlington, Virginia
Closing a Street For a Tree Removal Sometimes, the only safe way to remove a tree is to close the street. Know the rules and regulations!
Improper Pruning Practices in Arlington If he had remained sitting there another half hour, he would surely have been killed instantly.
Invasive Weeds Recently, while working on a tree removal project in Arlington, Virginia, I bumped into a technician from the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation named Karsten Ziemann.
Over the House Removals We sometimes encounter situations when it is necessary to bring in a crane.
Pruning Arlington Tulip Poplars Our larger, more notable tree pruning actions in Arlington have been with tulip poplars.
Review of Pro Arbor Tree Service in Arlington, VA I would highly recommend them to all our neighbors and friends. If you have the opportunity to do some cost comparisons, they may save the association some money too.
Sounding Trees There are different ways to sound a tree. The old-fashioned way is to use a rubber mallet.
Tree Pruning Arlington, VA The older and larger a tree, the less ability that it has to recover from over-pruning or poor pruning cuts.
Tree Removal Arlington, Virginia If you have to remove a tree in Arlington, call Pro Arbor.
Tree Removal Surprise When we removed the trunk of the tree, we found a hollow area large enough for three men to stand inside it!
Tree Removal Tale There was an Arlington tree removal where we removed two red oaks and a white oak from a backyard.
Tulip Poplar Tree Removals in Arlington Pro Arbor has been contracted to remove some large Tulip Poplar trees from the Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington, VA.