Line Of Defense

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Line Of Defense
Line Of Defense

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Trees are proud creatures. They are motionless, silent, stubbornly stretching upward. But even they are covered by the textbook phrase of Saint-Exupery: "We are responsible for those whom we have tamed."

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Trees, no matter how big and powerful they are, need not only our love (why else would we plant them in our plots ?!), but also care and protection. Grooming is watering, feeding and pruning. Gardeners usually fulfill these duties with varying degrees of success. But, alas, protection is often forgotten. Meanwhile, without it, handsome trees risk turning into ordinary firewood.

From head to toe

The tree is the roots. The tree is the trunk. A tree is a crown consisting of branches, shoots and foliage (needles). Each of its three parts must be specially protected.

Do not burn

Note how the young trees are planted by the specialists. Young seedlings rarely stand naked, especially if not the cheapest planting material was used. Their frail trunks can be wrapped in burlap, lined with reed mats. This is done in order to protect the thin bark from sunburn. Indeed, until recently, the seedlings grew in a nursery, with a clearly calculated density of plantings, illumination - in a word, in greenhouse conditions. A transplant is a real stress for them, and it is a person's duty to make the transition to the real world as painful as possible.

Do not scratch

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But the dangers don't end with childhood. The main enemy of trees is construction. If they are lucky enough to be not cut down at the root and not transplanted to distant lands, there remains the risk of being hit by a crane or KamAZ. Fortunately, more and more often, even at Moscow construction sites, we see human concern for trees: the trunks are lined with boards fastened with ropes or wire. Ugly, but effective. However, such temporary armor can look quite aesthetically pleasing. Elegantly designed trellises around tree trunks on the central streets of cities are also designed to protect the trunks from mechanical damage. Such practical "decorations" can also be applied on a private territory if it is too compact and there is a risk of damage to trees by anything.

Don't let it fall or break

As people do, trees, as they age, begin to sink to the ground. Like people, they need support. Old people pick up sticks and crutches, trees lean on hand-made supports. These structures protect the trunks from the so-called pull-outs (the leaning giant falls out of the ground along with the root system), and their branches from breaking off. By old age, trees are overgrown with heavy skeletal branches, which often compete in size with young trees. Under their own weight or the weight of the fruit, these branches can break off.

Tree props are made from a variety of materials - wood, metal and even stone. These structures can be extremely simple - like a classic spear under an old apple tree. But they can also carry a certain aesthetic, emotional and even … philosophical load. In China, where ancient specimens are treated with particular trepidation, beautiful retaining walls of stone are often built for them. After all, the older the tree, the more precious it is - a kind of natural antiques. And the appearance of the support for the veteran of the garden is evidence of how the owner relates to plants, to the world around him, and, if you like, to eternity.

Do not trample

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Avenues, boulevards and squares are unthinkable without a road surface. But trees don't grow on asphalt. The way out was found long ago: in places of a large concentration of people, trees are planted in holes. They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. For Russia, squares of 2 x 2 m are traditional.

If the hole is left unprotected, the person will walk alongside, mercilessly compacting the earth near the trunk and damaging the root system. To prevent this, the holes are covered with gratings - metal, wooden. The roots receive the necessary moisture and oxygen, as well as protection. You can do the same if you want to place a recreation area in the garden under a spreading crown.

Do not expose or close

It is impossible to live on garden plots without earthwork. Here it is necessary to remove the soil to smooth out the complex relief, there - to add a fertile layer to improve the poor soil near Moscow. Whatever we do, we must never forget about the trees that are already on the site.

By adding soil, we risk closing the root collar (the border between the root system and the trunk), and this is a sure guarantee that the tree will die in a few years. To avoid this, it is necessary to create fences - temporary (only for the period of soil movement across the territory) or permanent (curbs or even serious retaining walls).

By removing the soil, we can expose the roots of the tree. After that, they will dry out very quickly, and after them, our whole tree. Here, a retaining wall can also come to the rescue.

Do not dry

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What do we expect from trees in the first place? Of course, shadows in the midday heat. But while the trees are still small, they themselves need shade. Is it by chance that a special net is always stretched over the departments where the seedlings are sold in garden centers? This fabric creates optimal conditions for the growth of recent kennel dwellers, so that they do not dry out in the heat. The experience of the sellers is also useful for the gardener.

Do not break off, do not break off

If every morning you touch the lower branches of the tree with your car or the children of the guests strive to rip off the leaves of an expensive specimen for their herbarium, your task is to make the crown unattainable. How? Quite simply: by trimming it properly.

Yuri Razumovsky, candidate of biological sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Moscow State University, Forests, Ekaterina Savostyanova

Photo: Sergey Karepanov, Yuri Razumovsky

Sadovnik magazine, No. 6, 2007

www.sadovnikmag.ru

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