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16 Apr 2019

Working around Mandurah

Did you know that the City of Mandurah has established a Significant Tree Register? The aim of the register is protect valuable local trees. Anybody can nominate a tree to be added to the register, and the trees’ value is assessed on its aesthetics, botanical and ecological significance, and historical or cultural value.

Trees can be located on public or private land, and while many are native some are exotic species. Here are a few trees already on the register that we can recommend visiting:

Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) in the car park at Farmer Jack’s, Halls Head:

This amazing specimen is estimated to be over 400 years old. It has its own sign and is quite well known.

WA Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) at 67 Cooper St, Mandurah:

This tree caught my eye this year and I was happy to find it was on the register. Make sure you see it in full bloom … around Christmas time of course!

Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) in front of the Merchant Teahouse at Mandurah’s eastern foreshore:

You will probably already know this one! With a beautiful spreading habit its shade is enjoyed by visitors and provides habitat and food for wildlife.

Check out the Significant Tree Register for more examples. Why not visit them next time you are in town for a great experience.

28 Mar 2019

Trees and your home

Many of us read news stories with tragic events relating to storm damaged trees. Whether it is tree branches falling on top of people, or freak accidents involving trees under pressure, it is important to be aware of the risks and avoid these situations happening you or your loved ones.

A 12 year old boy in Tasmania was severely injured last year when a fallen tree suddenly stood upright. He and other youngsters had been playing around the huge uprooted base of the tree when it unexpectedly righted itself and crushed him. Suffering from a broken femur, eight broken ribs, two collapsed lungs and a squashed heart, he is still recovering five months later and required a complete reconstruction of his airway.

If you have a storm damaged tree or fallen branches, it is important to exclude all people and pets from the area and call your local tree service professionals (or the SES). While fallen trees may be a fascinating sight, they could be more dangerous than they look. A qualified arborist will need to assess the tree and ensure that tree parts under tension are made safe before the repair can commence.

The arborist will also be able to determine whether the damaged parts of the tree remaining are stable. Some damaged trees are able to be retained with the unsafe parts pruned, and can remain aesthetically pleasing. However if a tree trunk is snapped off in the middle, it is usually a good idea to remove the tree's remaining parts.

Our arborists work with several large insurance building firms and have extensive experience in making storm damaged trees safe. We also offer an emergency tree removal service. Call our friendly team today for a free quote and please leave dangerous trees to the experts.

21 Mar 2019

Arboriculture Industry News

Uncoil your ropes and get your climbing pants on - it’s nearly time for the WA Tree Climbing Championships in Perth. This annual event is presented by the Tree Guild of Western Australia, our peak organisation dedicated to improving the professionalism of the tree industry and educating the general public about proper tree care. This year it is being held at Matilda Bay Reserve (Crawley) on Saturday April 6 between 7 am and 6 pm. If you are intending to compete, judge or volunteer please lock this date into your calendar now.

The event brings qualified arborists together to practice and improve their techniques. The five events relate to work place tasks and put safety, speed and skill to the test. Events are scored on time, poise and how the climber moves through the tree.

Please follow this link to download the registration and gear check forms. Your entry fee includes a souvenir event T-shirt, lunch on the day of competition and complementary Tree Guild of Western Australia social membership.

Of course this event is not just for the tree industry - I’ve lost count of how many times have we seen the neighbours come out into the street to see the climbing arborist in action on the work site! It is very entertaining to watch and we encourage the general public to come along and check out some of the best tree climbing arborists in our state …hope to see you there!

18 Mar 2019

Arboriculture Industry News

Arboriculture Australia has developed and are now launching the Australian Arborist Industry Licence. It seeks to have our industry regulated in much the same way as plumbers, electricians, and crane operators.

The aim of this regulation is to prevent unqualified “cowboys” from damaging the reputation of the Arboriculture industry by removing or valuable trees or damaging them by using poor pruning techniques. The licence category will reflect the level of expertise the arborist has in the profession, and is being implemented for several reasons.

* To promote greater public awareness of trained and qualified professionals working in the tree industry.
* To ensure tree work and advice is completed in accordance with all relevant Australian and international standards.
* To confirm that the arborist being engaged for consultancy or tree work has had their qualifications vetted by an impartial professional third party.
*To ensure the arborist being engaged has a Construction Induction Card.

This in turn will achieve the long-term goals of maintaining, conserving and protecting plants and ecosystems in Australia.

Click here to download the information brochure.

25 Feb 2019

Trees and your home

Over spring and summer many native and exotic trees have put on a growth spurt and may require cutting back. About once annually, Western Power will assess trees on private and public land with regards to proximity to power lines. Their guidelines state that “the basic rule for the most common situation in urban areas is that vegetation needs to be kept at least two metres clear to the side, and below of electricity conductors of distribution power lines. Vegetation should not overhang the conductors.”

Yellow ribbons are placed on or near offending trees and bushes. This will be followed by a letter requesting that the property owner prune back the trees. Some people don’t get around to doing this, only to find Western Power send their own contractors around at minimum cost of about $430 - which can be exorbitant when you consider they will only prune the minimum amount.

It is much more cost effective to engage a local tree contractor for a competitive quote to trim trees near power lines. You can also request they prune a little more heavily, so the trees wont grow near the lines again for two or three years. Home owners should ensure the contractor is qualified, and certified to prune trees in proximity to Western Power assets: “For safety reasons, tree pruning near power lines should only be carried out by competent vegetation control people … When engaging a contractor to control vegetation around power lines, it is important to check they have the skills and knowledge to carry out the work.” 

Do you have a yellow tag on your fence or attached to a tree? Call one of the Western Power certified arborists at Branching Out Tree Care or contact us online to request a free quote for tree trimming near power lines.

18 Feb 2019

Working around Mandurah

Last Friday the crew at Branching Out Tree Care joined forces with Pete’s Treeworx to remove 3 large palms near Mandurah’s Atrium Hotel near Dolphin Quay. Unfortunately, these beautiful palms had been set on fire in the early hours of the morning and could not be saved. Using a cherry picker, loader and HIAB crane the team made short work of the palms, getting very dirty in the process!

On a more serious note, we have seen several palms set on fire over the last year or so in the Mandurah area. This is an extremely dangerous activity and usually results in damage to nearby walls and windows. If you have been a victim of palm arson, it is very important to report it to the police. Even if your house isn’t damaged, your insurance should cover the removal of the palm.

11 Feb 2019

Trees and your home

It finally began to heat up last week and many of you may have noticed your plants and trees showing signs of heat stress. Whatever you are growing, it is important to mulch the soil, as it has many benefits for your plants and trees. Using natural mulch from tree lopping (green mulch) is one of the best ways to grow and maintain a healthy garden. Have your irrigation source below the mulch if possible, to prevent evaporation, and be sure to adhere to the water use rules in your area.

What are the benefits of mulching?

Maintains an even soil temperature: Mulch acts as an insulator so your plants’ roots don’t get too hot. And vice-versa, in the winter months!

Feeding the soil: Natural mulches decompose over time to add nutrients to the soil, encouraging plant growth.

Conserving water: Mulching prevents the top of your soil from drying out, and reduces evaporation. You will only need to water about half as much if you have a mulched garden.

Reducing weed growth: Mulch prevents the sunlight reaching the soil and the weed seeds from germinating. Also, any weeds that do struggle up through the mulch are far easier to pull out.

Habitat creation: Beneficial insects and small marsupials may live in the mulch and help keep garden pests under control.

Aesthetics: Natural mulch is an attractive feature, and will improve the look of your garden.

Can I put green (fresh) mulch straight on my garden?

Definitely - contrary to what some people believe, green mulch is fine to spread straight on the garden. It will dry out to an even colour in a short time. When mulching trees, be sure to keep the mulch away from the base of trunks, as this may cause collar-rot.

How much mulch do I need?

One cubic metre of mulch covers 10 square metres at a thickness of 10 cm. Unless you have quite a large area to mulch, one truck-load of 5 to 6 cubes is usually sufficient. Green mulch applied this way will eventually settle to a thickness of 5 cm or so. It is a good idea to top up your mulch layer once or twice a year.

So… what are you waiting for? If you need mulch supplied and delivered in the Mandurah area, click here to order.