I really like how shady our yard is, but I'm not so excited about cleaning up everything that drops off the trees. I can't pick the fruit from the very top of the trees, so it rots and falls to the ground, and then it attracts mice and birds unless I clean it up straight away. I'm getting the trees all lopped back so I can get a break from all the cleaning up all this fallen fruit. This blog is all about how to get your backyard fruit trees lopped so that you don't have to clean up as much fallen fruit.
If you are planning to lop one of your trees and you identify as an environmentalist, you may want to keep the environment in mind as you plan your tree lopping strategy. There are a diverse range of issues to consider. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
1. Lop sparing.
Trees and plants produce oxygen for people and animals to breathe. They reduce the effects of urban heat islands. They help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by sequestering carbon dioxide, and they reduce smog. Because of those reasons and many others, you want to keep as many of your trees intact as possible.
To that end, plan to lop your trees sparingly. Ideally, you want to remove dangerous branches such as branches that are likely to fall on your roof and damage your home. Similarly, you want to remove branches that may stymie the future growth of your tree. Aside from that, you want to keep as much of the tree intact as possible.
2. Try to maintain shade.
When deciding which parts of your tree to lop, also look at the amount of shade your tree provides, and consider those environmental benefits. In particular, if part of your tree is over your home, that shades your roof, ultimately helping to lower the amount of time you need to run your air conditioner and helping to reduce your energy consumption. Ideally, you need to benefit the safety concerns of branches hanging over your home with the environmental-benefits of the shade provided by those trees.
3. Stay away from motorised machinery.
If you want to reduce the environmental impact of tree lopping, you want to stay away from motorised, petrol-based cutting methods. For example, if possible, use a hand saw to lop branches rather than a chain saw. Similarly, climb the tree or hire an experienced tree lopper to climb the tree rather than using a petrol-filled scissor lift.
4. Recycle the cut wood.
In addition to keeping the environment in mind while planning and doing the lopping, you should also think about the environment after you have lopped your trees. Don't just throw the branches in a landfill where they will continue to emit carbon as they breakdown. Instead, use them to fuel your wood burning stove. Burning wood is considered to be carbon neutral. Alternatively, turn the branches into wood chips or use them to build something for your home.