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Frequently asked questions

Here are a useful list of answers to common questions. Click on a question below to go to its answer, and click on the TO TOP button to go back to the top of this page. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
 

BENEFITS OF TREES

Tree benefits within the urban environment can be broadly divided up into 5 sections:

  1. Social Benefits: Trees have been a part of our existence since pre-historic 'man'. Our attachment to trees is what social anthropologists term; Dendro-psycosis. They are apart of our 'human' fabric. The effect of a treed environment can easily be displayed buy research that has shown that hospital patients recovering from surgery, do so at an accelerated speed if their rooms have a view of trees.
  2. Community Benefits: Even though trees may be private or state property, their size often makes them part of the community (Johannesburg sky line, is a point in view). With proper selection and maintenance, trees can enhance and function on one property without infringing on the rights and privileges of neighbours.
  3. Environmental Benefits: Trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water and harbouring wildlife.
  4. Economic Benefits: Property values of landscaped homes are 5-20% higher than those of non-landscaped homes.
  5. Trees require an investment: Trees provide numerous aesthetic and economic benefits but also incur some costs. Money spent on buying good healthy trees can be an investment that can only keep on 'growing'. It is in the selection, installation and maintenance of trees that the money invested on the services of an Arborist can be seen as money wisely spent.


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RECOGNIZING TREE HAZARDS

Trees provide significant benefits to our homes and cities, but when they fall and injure people and damage property, they are liabilities. Taking care of tree hazards makes your property safer and prolongs the life of your trees.

The advise of a professional tree care practitioner, cannot only make your property safer but can increase the long-term value of your property. Remember that the wrong advise and the application of incorrect pruning methods can lead to a myriad of tree complications that can cost you a fortune in the future.
 

Examples of defects present in urban trees:
  1. Re growth from topping, line clearance or other pruning.
  2. Electrical line adjacent to tree.
  3. Broken or partially attached branch.
  4. Open cavity in trunk or branch.
  5. Dead or dying branches.
  6. Branches arise at one point on the trunk.
  7. Decay and rot present in old wounds.
  8. Recent change in grade, soil level or other construction

 


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HOW TO PLANT A TREE PROPERLY

The purchase of a tree should be looked on as a lifetime investment. How well the tree and in effect your investment grows depends on the type of tree and the location you have selected for that tree to grow in, the care provided for that newly planted tree and the follow up treatment that the newly planted tree receives.

The best possible time to plant trees is during there dormant period, best indicated after leaf drop in the winter months or at early spring when the buds are ready to burst. Generally, any tree or sapling can be planted year round if it is in good health and is planted CORRECTLY.

Correct tree planting is something that is extremely neglected and is subject to many years of bad procedure passed down from generation to generation. What follows is a brief explanation of how to correctly plant your tree to ensure optimum growth and health.

  1. Identify the root flare on the tree.
  2. Using the root flare as indication of what must be placed above the ground;
  3. Dig a shallow broad 'bowl' shaped hole, only dig the depth in accordance with the distance from the base of the flare to the bottom of the root ball.
  4. Straighten the tree in the hole.
    Backfill the hole, gently but firmly. Every 1/3 of the way gently compact the soil filled into the hole.
  5. Try to absolutely avoid staking the tree, if this is not possible then make sure that the stakes are away from the root ball and trunk of the tree and are left on as short a time as possible.
  6. MULCH THE BASE OF THE TREE (see section devoted to mulch and its importance in tree health).
How to plant a tree properly :
  1. 2-4" layer of mulch.
  2. Keep mulch 1-2" back from trunk.
  3. Trunk flare.
  4. Use two opposing, flexible ties when staking is necessary.
  5. Gently pack back-fill, using water to settle soil around root ball.
  6. Set ball on firmly packed soil to prevent settling.
  7. Cut burlap and rope away from top third of root ball.

 


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ABOUT URBAN FORESTS COMPOST

At URBAN FOREST there is above all a desire to enhance our natural heritage within the man made city. Part of that ambition is the need to recycle all of our waste matter, to ultimately become a zero waste company. All timber generated from our tree care sites is recycled with the use of our shredder chippers, this ‘mulch’ is then reused in our tree planting programme's or is then converted into an organic COMPOST and sold back to our customers to help enhance the health and vitality of there gardens.

The use of natural organic matter in the gardens of our customers helps with creating a natural cycle that so-often is not present in the urban environment, very often this ‘waste’ material is dumped onto our city landfills, this process is extremely taxing on the amount of space available within the city for the disposal of waste and it also greatly increases the amount of methane released into the breathing air of the city.

This costly, wasteful and senseless disposal of our organic waste is what URBAN FOREST is striving to correct and develop into a viable, sustainable alternative that can enhance the city/environment that we live in.

COMPOST can be delivered or collected from our depot at your convenience.


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ABOUT URBAN FORESTS FIREWOOD

URBAN FOREST provides year round, exotic hard wood for the purpose of burning. This contributes to the alien eradication programme endorsed by WORKING FOR WATER to help save our indigenous species from the invasion of alien trees.

Our wood is cut to size, split and dried for easy use. The specific requirements of the oven wood burner (Morso etc.) have been considered in the processing of our firewood.

URBAN FOREST also provides for delivery of firewood, at a minimum of 2 cubic meters or one can collect from our depot in Midrand.

USING THE SERVICES OF A CERTIFIED ARBORIST?

An Arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees, and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Hiring an Arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Proper tree care is an investment, which can lead to substantial returns. Well cared for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability. Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.


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ABOUT MULCH AND WHAT IT DOES FOR MY PLANTS

MULCH is the least used and least known about product in the Johannesburg garden. This is a quite amazing fact based on the following stats:

  1. It saves up to 70% in water usage.
  2. Is generated/created by the garden itself.
  3. Creates a natural 'Forest Floor' effect that your plants love to grow in.
  4. 'Feeds' your trees at natural rate, a rate that they are designed to absorb at.
  5. Is used extensively in most developed countries that have a far greater average rainfall than Johannesburg does.
  6. Is used in gardens around the world where it is not possible to have a gardener part or full time.
  7. Is used by Landscape architects as a design element within the garden.

The above aspects are just an overview of why it is so amazing that MULCH is so underutilized in our gardens. URBAN FOREST creates various types of mulch to suit various needs of our different customers.

  • Raw mulch is the mulch delivered straight off the truck from site where the mulch has been chipped.
    • It contains a lot of leaf matter.
    • Various sized pieces of chip.
    • A rough, highly textured look that is somewhat untidy, but still provides the exact same benefits of any other more processed mulch.
    • Due to its 'raw' state, it will require more nitrogen from the soil to facilitate the breakdown process. So it is not advisable to use this type of mulch on top of soils that are nitrogen deficient.
       
  • Screened Mulch is a processed mulch that is screened by URBAN FOREST at our depot in Midrand.
    • The 'look' of the mulch is far more uniform and tidy.
    • The leaf matter is largely broken down.
    • Will require far less nitrogen from the soil as the decaying process has already begun at our yard.


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BENEFITS OF URBAN FORESTS LAWN DRESSING

Lawn dressing is just a further process in URBAN FORESTS recycling programme. We produce a highly refined product from our organic compost. The finely sieved and consistent end product is perfect for the development of a lush lawn that is vigorous and healthy.

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