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Preserve Stoneleigh’s Heritage of Trees for Now and for the Future

By Carol Newill of Greening & Recycling

10/1/20

Stoneleigh’s lovely tree-lined streets and the shade-cooled summer temperatures of our homes and yards provide joy and comfort to our residents and attract new home buyers. Many decades of nurturing the trees of Stoneleigh have created a beautiful tree canopy for individual homeowners and for our entire neighborhood.

Here are simple guidelines for preserving the health and beauty of Stoneleigh’s trees:

Protect the bark, which is like a skin that does the work of carrying water and nutrients up to the branches.

  • Avoid cuts from lawn mowers, weed whackers, nails, or wires.
  • Avoid rot and infections resulting from keeping the bark moist, and keep mulch or plastic at least 3 inches away from bark.
  • Remove ivy, as English Ivy vine roots penetrate tree bark allowing insects and infections to invade. Vines can shade the tree and weaken or kill it. Vines can add so much weight that branches can break or the entire tree can topple.

Protect the roots, as they are essential for the tree’s survival. Most roots grow about as far from the trunk as the branches do, so preserve that as a Safe Zone for the roots.

  • Do not cut roots by projects like expanding parking surfaces or digging deeper than 3 inches to plant grass or flowers.
  • Do not compress roots by allowing cars or heavy equipment over them.
  • Do not suffocate the roots piling mulch more than 2 inches deep or placing plastic over the soil. Roots need oxygen, too.

Provide water in hot summers and dry spells, weekly. All trees, even the big old ones, need water during dry spells from April through September. Mornings are best. Good how-to advice is here: https://caseytrees.org/take-action/water/

Preserve trees and do not take them down unless they are truly ill or dying.

  • If you have concerns, consult Greening & Recycling committee members for advice and referrals to professional arborists who treasure our trees rather than simply taking them down unnecessarily.
  • If the sidewalk is being raised, re-route or raise it to avoid damaging tree roots.

Please preserve Stoneleigh’s heritage of healthy and beautiful trees that give us shade, filter air pollution, buffer noise, take up storm water, provide homes for birds and other wildlife, and support our property values. Thank you!

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