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Tree Selection 

       Selecting trees goes far beyond structure and is one of the last things to look for when selecting a tree. To those who are structural and aesthetic purists, this is blasphemy. 

       If a Des Moines Arborist does not look at structure first, what should they look at when selecting a tree?       

       Olson Tree Care's 6 steps to Proper Tree Selection.

       1. Healthy Foliage and lots of it. A healthy tree is evidence by its leaves. Sparse, disfigured and discolored foliage frequents an unhealthy tree.     


       2. Root bound in pot. It is unnatural to have a 12 foot tree with a 2 foot root. Leading to grotesque root structure, it is an easy fix by selecting the smallest tree available. Sliding the container off and inspecting is a must.      

       3. Scratches on trunk. Thin bark is easily damaged and is thought to be easily overcome. While a tree has a greater ability to heal when young, a simple scratch can turn into necrosis in a short amount of time.    


       4. Insect populations. A small population of insects, like bagworms, will turn into a large population shortly.

       5. Buried Root collar. The youngest of trees should begin to show signs of root flare. Lack of flare may mean that something is being hidden below.

       6. Included bark. Trees with included bark branch forks are prone to failure once mature. Look for good auxiliary wood (interlocking grain) in vertex of the branch fork.

Structure mostly pleases people in the selection of trees, not trees.

Proper selection of nursery trees

Tree Longevity

Proper Tree Selection

Damage to nursery stock

Tree Selection

Damaged Nursery Stock

Tree Longevity 

       A trees ability to grow to maturity, live long without the threat of disease or failure should be the main factor in Proper Tree Selection

       Public opinion judges a winner by selecting a tree with the fewest perceived negatives. 

       2 implied “negatives” that often tip the scales of public opinion... 

       - A Tree is messy.

       - A Tree Grows to slow.

       This methodology of improper tree selection rules out some of the best trees. 

       Some of the factors for Tree Care in Des Moines, Iowa would consider in Proper Tree Selection...

       - Mature size and life span potential.

       - Low maintenance requirements.

       - Disease resistance.       

       Trees that require removal within 50 years or excessive maintenance are not as beneficial to the environment and are an economic disaster to our communities. They do have some benefits for our happiness, privacy, aesthetics and more. These trees have a place in our environment but should not be the focal point, more of an accent.

       Ask an Arborist from Olson Tree Care about the Top 10 trees in Des Moines, Iowa.

                                   Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

Norway spruce (Picea abies)

White fir | Abies concolor var. lowiana

Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

Ginkgo biloba

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Hawthorne (Crataegus sp.)

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