If you're working in a yard where trees are growing, it's important to avoid running into them with your lawn equipment. But accidents happen, and sometimes you're faced with a situation where you got a string-line trimmer too close to the tree or you bumped into a tree with the lawnmower. When that happens, there's a good chance you damaged the tree and/or your equipment. So now what do you do?

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Damage To The Tree

There's not much you can do when there's damage to the tree. Wounds that go through the tree bark damage the cambium layer, which is vascular tissue that moves water and nutrients up from the roots. If less than 25% of the bark around the tree's circumstance is damaged it will most likely recover on its own. More damage may result in the death of the tree. For serious damage or if there's a danger of the tree falling, get a professional arborist's opinion.

Some sources recommend taping the bark back in place or using a wound dressing, but this may make the problem worse. Just trim off loose bark and give the tree a chance to heal itself. You might notice decay in the wound, but don't remove it. A damaged tree produces compounds in the wood cells that set up a barrier to compartmentalize the decaying area. Poking around in the wound can damage this barrier.

Damage To Equipment

Running into a tree's trunk or exposed roots can damage your lawn equipment as well as the tree. This may cause the mower or trimmer to run rough or to not start at all. For a trimmer, the most likely damage is to the cutting head. Worst-case scenario for a lawn-mower is a bent shaft. That can be dangerous to repair because a weakened shaft could break while you're using it can lead to the blade coming off. But there's also the chance that the mower damage is a more minor problem like a bent cutting blade or broken flywheel key.

Bring your damaged mower or trimmer into our service department here at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower. We'll take a look at it and let you know whether it's better to repair or replace the equipment. We do all our repairs in-house and back-up our work with a 30-day warranty.

How To Avoid Damage

If you're reading this and haven't yet run into any trees, now's a good time to take precautions. And even if you have injured a tree or damaged your equipment, you should take steps to avoid repeating the injury.

To keep your trees and lawn equipment safe in the future, make sure you're not mowing or trimming near the base of the tree. The simplest solution is to create a mulch ring around the tree as a buffer zone. This also keeps-down grass and weeds. Spread a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches thick around the base of the tree, leaving a couple inches of bare ground around the base of the trunk. This mulch ring should be about 4 to 6 feet in diameter. That'll go a long way toward keeping both your trees and equipment safe in the future.