Tree with woodpecker holes

How Defects Increase Likelihood of Tree Failure

In the February 2023 issue of TCI Magazine, we reviewed some important mechanical concepts that arborists should know to better understand the likelihood of tree failure (“What Is Tree Biomechanics, and Why Should I Care?”). From that article, we learned that the likelihood of failure depends on two factors: the loads a tree experiences and […]

Rejuvenation Shrub Pruning 101

Rejuvenation pruning is the aggressive cutting of stalks, or stems, of certain shrubs to the ground in late winter. There is a limited group of plants that consistently respond well to this type of pruning. I only have experience with the ones I have worked on in eastern Massachusetts. Forsythia is a great example. On […]

Three Scale Amigos in the City: Who They Are and Why They Outbreak

More than 55% of the world population now lives in cities, according to an October 2022 report by the World Bank. This percentage is expected to increase to nearly 70% by the year 2050. As once-natural areas become developed and forests and grasslands are turned into the homes, businesses, institutions and attendant infrastructure that comprise […]

What Is Tree Biomechanics and Why Should I Care?

Biomechanics is the combination of two sciences – biology and physics. It’s the study of biological organisms from a mechanical perspective. Mechanics is the study of objects’ motion and is based on Newton’s three laws of motion. Those three laws are: If we want to understand how a bird flies or how a tree fails […]

Staff at Joseph Tree Service LLC used an air excavation tool to decompact the soil around this red oak and lower the grade by 4 inches to establish proper root flare. They then added organic soil amendments. Photo courtesy of the author.

Modern Organic Amendments: A Practical Approach to Urban Soil Health

In my December 2022 article in TCI Magazine, “The Plight of Urban Soils,” a majority of the content focused on the issues with urban soils and how they are notably different from natural forest and prairie soils. There is mention of modern organic-matter (OM) products and how organic-matter inputs can help improve urban soils. (Photo […]

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