One of the more important subjects we think about here at Certified Arborist Alpharetta is the study of Ecology and how the wildlife is affected by tree work. When we do tree service for people we always take this into account. I always seem to be in the back of our mind. We strive to stay up on our education and need to be conscious of our decisions. You aren’t allowed to just go and remove a thousand trees without thinking of the environment and ecosystem so that is where our learning helps. Us. Today we are highlighting an excerpt out of a book titled: The Woodlot Management Handbook by author: Stewart hilts and Peter Mitchell
In understanding woodland ecology, you must also look at the
broader landscape beyond the woodland for other important eco-
The term “ecosystem” is often replaced with the term “eco –
logical community’ or “vegetation community” when describing a
local region. There may be many ecological communities in a broad
landscape. There are ecological relationships among these commu-
nities as well as within them.
The edges of woodlands provide what biologists describe as
“edge habitats,” where two different communities meet. Many
species of wildlife depend on more than one community for food or
cover, so edge habitats tend to be attractive to them.
On the other hand, some species need the deep, undisturbed
habitat of the forest interior for their life cycles. Of course, larger
woodlands provide more interior habitats for these species and so
are of critical importance.
Connections between woodlands are also an important ecolog-
ical link. Birds, small mammals, and even plants (their seeds
carried by the birds and small mammals), migrate along corridors
such as fence rows or stream-valley forests.
In this chapter, we will first discuss the environmental factors
that are important influences on woodland ecosystems. Secondly,
we will discuss the many interrelationships that exist between
species and their environments. Thirdly, we will look at the
patterns of change in these relationships over time, which is
known as natural succession. Finally, we will examine some of the
ecological relationships in the broader landscape. Along the way,
we will identify places where an understanding of woodland ecol-
ogy has direct implications for woodland management. The princi-
ples of woodlot management are, in fact, directly based on an
understanding of woodland ecology.
Soil and Nutrients
The first factor that makes up the physical environment of a wood-
land is soil. Soil provides direct structural support for growing
plants, but also provides the needed nutrients, such as nitrogen,
phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The continuous
cycling of these nutrients through growth, decay, and reuse
enables ongoing growth of the woodland.
Soil itself develops through the slow weathering of the under-
lying geological deposits, enriched by the addition of organic mate-
rial, such as leaves. Though we may not see them, soils are teeming
with microorganisms, many of which are decomposers, vital links
in these nutrient cycles.
Soil types have a major effect on the plants that grow in a
woodland. At one extreme is the rich, black organic muck of a wet-
land. Only trees and other plants adapted to the wet growing con-
ditions of these soils will survive here. Drier soils range from sand
and gravel through loam to clay.”
All of the information above really relates to many areas of tree service work and how we in Alpharetta view things. We need more handbooks similar to this and we will always strive to become more aware of what our tree removal process is.