Landscaping And Tree Surgeon’s “Dead Wood”

Idioms are used to pepper the English language with unusual phrases. One minute it’s raining cats and dogs, and then next you’ll find they’re all bark and no bite. One idiom that’s really dime a dozen is the phrase ‘dead wood’. But there’s a serious side to the origins of the phrase in landscaping and tree surgery. Check out a dictionary and you’ll find the primary description as “Dead branches or wood on a tree.” Then the descriptions become idiomatic, with “one that is burdensome or superfluous” and “fallen bowling pins that remain on the alley.

“Curiously, in marine and land-based carpentry the dead wood is ‘the vertical planking between the keel of a vessel and the sternpost, serving as a reinforcement” or “small pieces of wood used as nailers in framing used for panel attachment in a cabin”. The advice you will receive from a reputation landscaping business or tree surgeon as that dead wood has its place in the environment and should be managed properly.

Simon Ablett is a tree surgeon with AC Landscape ad Treeworks in Devon, UK. His business is called upon to landscape gardens, remove trees (including coppicing and pollarding), fencing and digger hire. But one concern many people have is removing dead wood – either wholly dead trees or dead and dying branches. “The dead wood is often called coarse woody debris (CWD) and there is a lobby to maintain this type of wood in forests and woodlands because they form a habitat for wildlife and insects,” comments Simon. “This can help these habitats regenerate organically, and boosts numbers of fungi, mosses, invertebrates and bids and mammals.”Some studies have shown that 40% of all forest fauna are dependent on dead trees. “Many householders and business who have trees on their property seek advice from us on dead wood. Many want the trees to remain, since they can look attractive as well as attracting nature. As landscapers and tree surgeons we must find a balance between nature and safety. “Dead trees will suffer root rot and can become a hazard in strong winds, either falling onto buildings and vehicles or potentially falling on people.