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Why Do Urban Trees Need Care?

Tree service trucks are a familiar sight in communities around southeastern Wisconsin, and it may be evident that the crew is performing pruning or a removal. What isn’t so clear is why urban trees need care. The fact is, trees in our yards and lining our streets face a variety of stressors because they’re living in an urban or suburban environment. Care for urban trees can help them overcome these stressors, unlocking their potential for growth, good health and a long life.

3 Common Challenges to Urban Living

Here are just three of reasons urban and suburban trees may not live to maturity.

  • Living alone. Single trees planted in our yards often do not have to compete for sunlight and resources in the same way forest trees do, so they don’t always reach for the sky in the same way. Limbs may grow outward, which creates a beautiful shape but can also put them at risk for damage or loss during storms. Pruning of weak, dead and crossing branches on a regular schedule helps encourage strong structure as the tree matures. Learn more about how pruning affects tree strength.

  • Poor soil. Healthy soil is essential for healthy tree roots, but urban soils can be compacted, disturbed by construction, low on nutrients trees need, and affected by road salt and pollution runoff. Treatments like root fertilization, root aeration, and plant growth regulators can help trees thrive despite poor soil. Read more about why healthy trees start below ground.

  • Difficulty fighting off insects and diseases. Urban trees that are weakened by loss of large limbs, poor soil and other stressors such as drought, and animal or human damage, have a harder time standing up to insect infestations and diseases. There are chemical and natural ways to help trees that are affected by insect and disease issues. The best way is to be proactive with urban tree health.

Invest in Your Canopy

If you live in a developed or developing area in Wisconsin, your trees are part of the state’s urban canopy. They can bring years of enjoyment to your family, and they also offer important benefits to the larger community, including reducing pollution, using carbon dioxide, providing habitat for local wildlife, and holding water and reducing soil erosion. Your city, town or village may be investing in maintaining and growing the local urban tree canopy on public lands. You can also help maintain the urban tree canopy by caring for your trees! If you'd like an expert to inspect your trees this dormant season, contact us at 414.257.2111to schedule a free tree inspection or request an inspection online by one of Hoppe's certified arborists.

Did You Know?

Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program that provides a framework to communities for growing and maintain their tree cover.

Shout out to SHEBOYGAN for being Wisconsin’s longest-running active Tree City community in Wisconsin, at 44 years.

Shout out to GREENFIELD for receiving the longest active Tree City growth award in Wisconsin – 27 years, for demonstrating increased levels of tree care and community engagement.

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