Just as most problems in landscapes are caused by maintenance gardeners hired to maintain it, many trees problems are caused by those hired to fix the problem. Arboriculture, the horticulture of trees, should be performed, or at least directed, by a professional arborists. It is unrealistic to expect this specialized service to be done properly by those lacking education and experience.
Even the most proficient gardener, who can perform most aspects of gardening well, are unlikely to be as proficient in arboriculture as an arborist due to the science, techniques and tools involved. Comparing a gardener to an arborist is like comparing a custodian who cleans windows on the top floor from the inside 0f a high building to the specialist that cleans windows on the outside of a skyscraper. There are just too many differences in the two related but vastly different types of work.
Arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) are the most qualified to assess the health, stability and structural integrity of trees, and prescribe any necessary arboricultural procedures. These arborists have passed an examination of their arboricultural expertise and maintain their certification by continued involvement with ISA educational seminars, workshops and classes.
Arborists and tree service businesses affiliated with ISA can be found at their website www.isa-arbor.com. They can be found directly by name, or regionally by city or ZIP code. The website is also an excellent resource for those wanting to learn more about trees and the importance of proper arboriculture.
Trees are the most substantial features of landscapes and are worthy of more respect than they commonly get. Structural problems or instability can be serious problems, not only to the affected trees but also to anything around them that might be damaged or destroyed by falling limbs or even entire trees. Proper arboriculture helps to keep trees healthy and reasonably safe for many decades or centuries.
Highlight: Red Ironbark Eucalyptus
The many varied eucalypti never seem to outgrow the bad reputation of the blue gum and red gum eucalypti that get too big, messy and dangerous for urban gardens. Fortunately though, most others do not get nearly as large, and many stay proportionate to urban gardens. Their smaller canopies are neither as messy, nor as structurally deficient.
Red ironbark eucalyptus, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, is one of the mid-sized eucalypti that can eventually get quite tall, so is best where it has room to grow. Pruning for containment in compact gardens is actually quite a bit of work. Their coffee colored and deeply furrowed bark on elegantly sculptural trunks and limbs contrast nicely behind the mint frosting colored and softly pendulous foliage. The lanceolate leaves are about five inches long and three quarters of an inch wide. Flowers are almost always pinkish red, but can be pink or white.