What's wrong with this picture?

  • Large black bag leaning on tree.
  • Digging occurring inside of the drip line.
  • Boards and things piled up everywhere.
  • A mound of soil piled up under the drip line.
  • Excess soil added and trampled at the base of the tree
  • Equipment parked under the drip line.
  • No protective fencing at the drip line.

Have you ever used a tree as if it were a pole? Did you pile things against its trunk or on its roots?

It hurts the tree and it shows carelessness... and you don't want to be thought of as careless. I know that you're a caring, considerate person. So, please. Come from the trees' point of view. You wouldn't want stuff piled on you. Neither does the tree.

How does that hurt the tree?
  • Stuff at the base interferes with uptake of water or free flow of air in the roots. Yes roots need to breathe, just like you do.
  • Stuff on the trunk can hurt the bark. Just like your veins and arteries are just under your skin and so you bleed if scratched, the circulation system of the tree is just under the bark. It doesn't bleed normally, but its circulation can be hampered. Not good.
  • After time, roots and trunk can be permanently injured when things are left there, leading to tree decline and even death.

Other Carelessness - Parking under a tree

Sure, people like the shade to keep the car cool, but that is very human-centric.

The tree needs air around its roots. Would you like a 1.5 ton car parked on you? This compacts the soil and roots can't breathe.


Sometimes carelessness or accidents inflict injury on trees, sometimes injury occurs in storms. Either way, the tree has to compensate on the inside. And if the tree was already weak--not operating at full health--the injury can put the tree into decline.

Equipment in the area tore the trunk of this tree. Careless!
Storm Damage

Please click to go to each of the Top 10 Ways to Hurt Trees

#10 Way to Hurt Trees: Pollution, litter, and dumping.

#9 Way to Hurt Trees:  Remove the leaves from the drip zone.

#8 Way to Hurt Trees: Wrong or inappropriate use of chemicals.

#7 Way to Hurt Trees: Poor transplanting.

#6 Way to Hurt Trees:  Failing to Water even mature trees in heat and drought.

#5 Way to Hurt Trees: Careless Practices and Injury

#4 Way to Hurt Trees: Cutting down nearby trees or disturbing the ecosystem.

#3 Way to Hurt Trees: Construction abuses.

#2 Way to Hurt Trees: Strangulation by ropes, ties, wires, etc.

#1 Way to Hurt Trees: Suffocation by burying roots under mulch, fill, planters, or regrading of land.

Please check our sister website: PartnerWithNature.org.