We love trees. We want to keep them around and thriving for as long as we can. Doing that also means some need to be cut down and/or removed entirely. It may seem contradictory but not all trees in the Tennessee Valley region are thriving the way they should be and most of the time it’s due to the competition for resources between the native trees and invasive trees.
The Threat of Invasive Species
Invasive species are those that have been transplanted to an area where they do not naturally grow and take over the landscape. Invasive trees tend to share these common characteristics:
- Spread their seeds widely
- Grow rapidly compared to native trees
- Consume natural resources like water, sun and ground nutrients
One of the most threatening in the Tennessee Valley is the Chinese Privet, which is really taking hold in areas adjacent to waterways. Their increased presence along creeks is pushing out the native trees like hemlock, river cane, mountain laurel, and roddadedran that are found on Lookout and Signal Mountain, in particular.
Because the privet grows so quickly, it is shading out those native species, which are dying off as a result. All trees need to drop seeds that germinate via sunlight and water to make the trees grow. The privet is able to do this faster than natives in the area, which threatens the local ecosystem and makes them Candidate 1 for recommended removal.
Invasives Affect on Wildlife
It’s more than just the native trees themselves that are affected by the takeover of invasives like Chinese privet, mimosa trees and others we’ve discussed previously. Wildlife like birds, bunnies, groundhogs, armadillos and deer also feel the effects.
Certain species of birds and rodents rely on the trees native to their habitat for food and nesting. What happens when their native trees are gone or no longer able to provide for them? Those same animals have to travel further to find the resources they need to live, putting them at greater danger.
Why We Need to Cut Down Trees to Preserve Nature
By removing invasive trees from where they do not naturally grow we are protecting biodiversity. As we’ve outlined thus far, there is a reason the trees native to our area are here and we at Tree Worx are here to protect them and the wildlife that depend on them.
It’s not our goal to cut down all trees, in fact, we created the Cut One, Plant One program to help balance out the removal work we do. And hopefully through increased education you can now see why we want to remove dead and invasive trees in order to preserve the long-term future for the natural landscapes that make up the Scenic City.