Can you spot it?
To a trained eye, a person that knows trees would spot it in an instant! The above photo is taken from a front yard I had designed about 4 years ago. The property looks well maintained by professionals from far away...
But upon closer inspection I noticed some tragic details that were never tended to! The orange arrows say it all!
The tree stakes were left in 4 years after they were planted!!!
When I first drew out the landscape plan and imagined these trees in my mind's eye, I never would have imagined this... Was it my fault for not informing the home owners? Or was it the contractor's fault for not informing them that something they did once they were planted, needed to come out after the second year of growth!
What you can't see is the wires still looped around the trunk... the tree has now grown into the wires and is causing it to girdle itself. The mass of branches that have developed along the base of the trunk is a survival tactic!
The roots are thriving! Yet the nutrients have no place to go! The tree knows if it is not corrected soon, the top portion above the wires will soon die off and it is ready to start new from the base... any one of those small branches growing from below the wire will take the lead as a "leader branch".
This stands to reason that I should probably visit my landscapes more often... but when you do so many, how can one possibly keep an eye on them all?
I give the landscape maintenance crew an 'A' for effort to make the grounds look good...
but a failing grade is given for not recognizing the need to remove the tree-stakes!!!