THE WEEKLY POST
November 18, 2013
The State of the Environment
It is often said that European man disrupted the "Balance of Nature" that existed in the Americas before he arrived. Nothing could be further from the truth. The environment, here and elsewhere, has never been in balance, will never be in balance, and cannot be restored to some romantic state of balance that never existed in the first place. It is preposterous to believe that we know what species should be "saved" and that we can "preserve" a natural area and "lock in" its components for perpetuity, any more than we can know what the "correct" climate parameters are for our generation.
Have we lost, and saved species? Have we "restored" environments? Yes on both counts. That being said, we have also created major problems in many of our attempts to protect "Nature" from ourselves.
So how do we protect and conserve our environment? It will take a change in many of our national and local political policies, and more objective assessment of landscape dynamics by environmental groups and educators.
Many years ago, a prominent naturalist said that one of the factors affecting the health of the land organism was that we move onto the land instead of moving into the country. That factor is characteristic of most of today's growth. Stay tuned for the next post as I discuss related issues, and explore ways to integrate development into the landscape.
Madrono Tree Services provides
Professional pruning services for your oaks, maples, elms, pines and other valuable trees.
Tree root surgery for compromised root flares and organic fertilization services to promote plant and soil health and better resistance to insects, diseases, and hurricane damage.
Tree centered landscape renovations.
Madrono Tree Services was started in 1989 and is owned and operated by Phillip R. Coker.He is a graduate of La Porte (TX) High School and has a B.Sc. from TAMU/College Station. His major areas of study were arboriculture and parks and natural resource management. Before starting MTS he had experience with various Houston area landscape companies and nurseries, the grounds crew at Texas A&M University(CS) and University of Washington (Seattle) and was a volunteer guide at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center (Memorial Park) from 1975-1980. He looks forward to helping you care for your trees.
Building a Green Foundation
Madrono Tree Services specializes in not only helping owners with their trees and landscaping issues but also in educating people on 'natural target pruning' or in layman's terms -'how to trim trees and shrubs', a system of pruning developed by Dr. Alex Shigo, former Chief Scientist USDA. Madrono Tree Services is located in Southeast Houston, TX and services Galveston County, Harris County, and Brazoria County. Other services provided are:
Root Flare Excavation
Tree Care and the Environment Classes - Owner Phil Coker would enjoy the opportunity to provide classes to Homeowners Association members, Garden Clubs, Landscaper's Organization, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce and other member organizations interested in learning correct tree care and environmentally friendly landscaping techniques. Have a need or suggestion for a class? Make a class suggestion.
Madrono's services center around restoring and promoting the health of your landscape by the use of proper pruning techniques, re-establishing grades, and the right mulch regimen around plants, trees and shrubs. Madrono Tree Services also suggests getting away from 'weed & feed' products that bring on rapid growth to using organic based products that promote soil health - not excessive plant growth. One such product is MicroLife - a biological, organic fertilizer developed for soil and plant health. Most insect and disease problems can originate or be prolonged by poor cultural practices. (See our Green Care page) Rather than immediately applying pesticides, Phil prefers to work with homeowners and property owners to develop a management plan to reduce the need for pesticides.
|Volcano mulching, a common yet insidious landscape practice.||Excess mulch and soil against the trunk and root flare sometimes hide old injuries and extensive decay like that found at the base of this pine.
The common, yet traumatically incorrect, practice of 'volcano mulching' is a constant battle for Phil and his team. As seen in the picture on the left, the damage occurring to this tree cannot be seen. Hidden conditions such as deteriorating bark and girdling and choking roots may progress to the point that the health of the tree is compromised. The same is true for your shrubs and plants. Mulch can be very beneficial when correctly applied. The mulch should never touch the trunk, and only be about 1 - 2 inches deep - there is no need to mound it. Proper mulching preserves the 'root flare integrity' of the tree. Mulch could be applied to the tree below to suppress the grass growth as long as the mulch wasn't mounded up over the root flares. (Root flare indicated by white arrows.)
Environment & Landscaping
Dr. Alex Shigo May 8, 1930 -October 6, 2006
Dubbed the "Father Of Modern Arboriculture", Dr. Alex Shigo, tree pathologist, educator and author, spent most of his adult life studying, lecturing, dissecting and writing about trees. "A tree is much more than a chunk of dead wood," exclaimed Shigo. "Trees are alive; they live all year 'round, not just for a short time in the summer. They work during the winter, too. Many people spend time on what goes wrong with a tree; I wanted to study what goes right." Shigo found that trees respond to injuries by sealing the wounded area through the process of "compartmentalization". This theory of "compartmentalization of decay in trees" was Shigo's biological brainstorm, leading to many changes and adaptations in the tree care industry. Instead of healing like human skin, the tree responds to injury by 'walling off' the affected area; effectively compartmentalizing the injured area so that other parts of the tree are not affected.