*Photo Credit: Ashford’s great red oak as captured by Marty Aligata of the CT Notable Tree Project on December 2, 2017
Aptly named, Giant Oak Lane in Ashford, CT has been home to one of Connecticut’s most historical red oak trees. This tree withstood countless storms over the past 100 years and now suffers irreparable damage. Do you know how to determine if your oak tree is in need of care? In this blog post, Eric discusses the history of Ashford’s giant oak tree and how to care for your oak tree after a storm.
Eric’s Tree Service In Ashford, CT
At Eric’s Tree Service, we provide tree removal and arborist services in over 90 Connecticut towns, including Ashford, CT. Every town has its own tree history. In Ashford, CT, we’ve always found the history of the red oak on Giant Oak Lane fascinating.
Ashford’s Giant Oak History
While Ashford’s red oak has unfortunately become damaged from disease and storms over the years, did you know this tree was designated a national champion for being the largest tree entered in the 1927 United States notable tree competition?
The Ashford Oak was a famous landmark in Ashford for almost 100 years. At its peak, the tree measured 32 feet in circumference, 97 feet tall, and had a horizontal branch spread of 135 feet. The Ashford Oak stood one mile west of intersection of Routes 44 and 44A on Giant Oak Lane and was maintained by Joshua’s Trust until it was determined that the historic oak had suffered irreparable damage. Hurricanes, lightning damage, rot, and decay spread to affect all major trunks of the tree.
Caring for Oak Trees Throughout Their Lifespan
The Northern red oak, known as Quercus rubra, can live from 200-400 years old. If you’re planting an oak tree in your yard for the first time, use cages and chicken wire to protect your tree from wildlife until your tree is at least 5 feet tall. Oak tree roots are best developed in moist soil. In the event of drought or a dry season, water the soil around your oak tree to encourage its growth and development.
Cabling, pruning, fertilizing, and spraying can help to extend the lifespan of your oak tree. However, any of these services performed in excess can also negatively impact your tree. When a tree is at its most vulnerable, such as after withstanding a significant storm, sometimes tree owners can harm the tree further by overcompensating for its damage.
Caring for Oak Trees After A Storm
If your tree has withstood significant storm damage, it’s important to call a professional. At Eric’s Tree Service, we’re licensed arborists with over thirty years of experience. We’ve seen homeowners mistakenly cause irreparable damage to their trees too many times. While it may be tempting to try and remove hanging limbs and branches yourself, we strongly advise against it.
- Safety First. A damaged tree may have suffered more damage than meets the untrained eye. Limbs may fall unexpectedly and damaged trees located near utility lines pose an even greater safety risk.
- Torn Bark. Torn bark from storm damage can create the perfect hiding place for future insect infestations. Bark should be torn away, but if the inner bark is exposed in excess, the tree’s food and water lifelines are at stake.
- Over Pruning. We’ve seen homeowners want to cut back all the branches, hoping to avoid future storm damage to the tree. However, did you know this can be one of the WORST things for your tree’s health? Branch strength becomes compromised when trees are over pruned. Additionally, you will be reducing the foliage of the tree, which its the tree’s main source of energy for regrowth.
Just Call Eric for Your Free Consultation
If your trees have withstood storm damage, call us to discuss the best action to preserve the life of your trees and the safety of your home and family. Our 0% financing options make it easy for you to make the best decision for your trees at even the most inconvenient times.