String Trimmer (Strimmer) Usage Reminder

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

We are now entering summer and have spring behind us already but the grass cutting in your garden will still need to carry on. Many of us have a strimmer (line trimmer), whether gasoline powered or electric, and must remember, and the manufactures do it all the time, to use such tools with caution and care. Eye protection, ear plugs, bland the rest you certainly have heard this a million times right? But what about the health and safety of your trees and shrubs?

It is important to be cautious with your plant material and not get carried away in the heat of the working day. Caution should be used when trimming around the base of plants – string trimmers can girdle young trees without you even realizing the damage because the grass and weeds returns upright after being cut and hides the damage to the bark. Use a strimmer guard or protective sleeve around the trunk to reduce this type of injury.

Scientifically speaking the cambium layer is active in the spring and early summer and impact to the bark can cause slipping and the bark can loosen or be torn off. Any such damage will allow pathogens to enter the tree and already the simple damage of the cambium layer can kill the tree, as the cambium layer is the one that carries the nutrient up the tree's trunk.

So, by all means use your string trimmer and tear up those weeds and edges – but take care with your trees.

Best would be not to use such power tools at all and cut the grass on edges and around trees and such with a scythe, a sickle or edging shears, manually.

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