Southern Village Trees Getting TLC

As you have probably noticed by now, some needed attention is being given to the street trees of Southern Village. Eco Logic, under contract with the Southern Village Homeowners Association, is implementing a multidimensional improvement plan that will address many maintenance issues. The approximately 1100 trees have been divided into three groups prioritized according to need, and will be attended to over the course of the next three years.

One facet of the treatment is pruning. Clearance for pedestrians and vehicles is a priority, as well as the structural health and safety of the trees. Co-dominant leaders, crossing or rubbing branches, and broken, dead, or diseased branches are all addressed. Limbs in conflict with streetlights or homes are also removed or redirected. Pruning of the trees in the first group is complete, and group two pruning will begin in January 2008.

The second phase of treatment is currently underway and takes place on the ground. The root flare of a tree is the visible buttressing of the trunk at the natural soil level that indicates the distinction between above-ground and below-ground tissue. Often, due to deep planting or incorrect mulching, the root flare becomes buried. This condition can lead to many problems including girdling roots, rots and cankers. The stress of such a situation can also leave the tree more susceptible to insect pests and diseases. Correction involves mechanically removing the material to expose the entire root flare. As the soil or mulch is removed, girdling roots, which constrict the trunk, can be identified and remedied. This is a very important step in ensuring the long-term health of landscape trees.

As an added component of the ground-level improvements, the mulch bed of each tree will be expanded and correctly mulched. The beds will be made rectangular to allow for easier maintenance and to cover many of the exposed roots that are frequently injured by equipment. An example has been provided in front of 102 Parkside. Not only will this style of mulch bed provide a much healthier space for the tree, it will also create a more uniform and attractive streetscape. Finally, a process called vertical mulching will be used to improve the soil structure and fertility around each tree. A small auger bit is used to drill holes scattered throughout the root zone. Then a soil amendment and fertilizer mixture is added to each hole. This will provide essential nutrients while aerating the soil for healthier roots.

The trees of Southern Village are integral to the atmosphere and sense of place enjoyed by the residents. They provide a wealth of benefits seen and unseen, and this type of care should help them remain safe, healthy, and beautiful for years to come.

If you have questions or comments about our tree care program please email

This entry was posted in Southern Village News. Bookmark the permalink.