Summer is in full swing, and so are the blossoming flowers, lively trees, and all the bugs that come with them. You might view these bugs as pesky and downright annoying. But do you know the important role these bugs play in our ecosystem? Bugs that move pollen from flower to flower are called pollinators. And if it weren’t for these insects, our lives would look dramatically different.
What Are Pollinators?
The goal of every living organism is to reproduce, and flowers are no different. In order to create offspring, a flower must produce a seed. But in order for the flower to produce a seed, it needs pollen from the same species of plant. This is where pollinators step into the equation.
Let’s use a bee in our pollinator example. A bee collects and eats pollen for fuel. Our bee first lands on plant A (a male) to collect pollen for protein. Some pollen will inherently attach to the bee’s body simply from it landing on the flower. Then, our bee travels to plant B (a female) which happens to be the same species of plant. When our bee lands on plant B, the pollen from plant A will fall off the bee and attach itself to the inner workings of the plant. And violà! The reproduction of the flower has begun.
When you picture pollinators, you likely picture a bee flying from flower to flower. But the list of pollinators is far more lengthy than that. Here are some common pollinators within our environment:
- And the list goes on!
Pollinators can range from our common insects (such as bees and butterflies) to more unusual mammals such as honey possums. But across the globe, it’s well known that the honey bee is the single most important pollinator within our ecosystem.
Why Pollinators Need Healthy Trees
Pollinators are vital to the production of the food that we consume. According to the USDA, 35% of the world’s food crops depend on pollinators for reproduction. That’s a big responsibility! And as humans, it’s our responsibility to ensure the health of our flowers, trees, and anything that blossoms in order for pollinators to thrive and perform their job effectively.
A tree's flowers are a vital source of nutrient-rich pollen and nectar for bees. Without healthy trees, bees would not have access to this crucial, nutrient-rich source of food. Here are a few tips on how to keep your trees healthy for our little pollinators:
Pick the right tree and the right spot
First you need to pick the right trees for your yard, depending on your geological area. For example, you wouldn’t want to plant a palm tree in your Ohio backyard. Pick trees that will thrive and provide plenty of blossoming flowers for the pollinators. You’ll also want to follow planting guidelines, such as how far away a plant should be from your roof or how deep the tree should be planted.
Have your trees pruned regularly
Having your trees regularly pruned by a Certified Arborist will ensure the health of the tree. They will remove any diseased or dead limbs, keeping the tree healthy and thriving. If you have any fruit trees, pruning will promote the growth of spurs, which in turn yields more fruit production. A Certified Arborist will also be able to diagnose any ongoing issues and provide a plan of action. Regularly pruning your trees will keep them healthy, safe, aesthetically pleasing, and most important to the pollinators- thriving.
Water as needed
Keeping your trees watered is key to keeping them healthy. Young trees will need to be watered more often than mature trees, although some mature trees may not need additional water at all. Follow the guidelines of your local tree company to figure out just how much water your trees need in order to remain healthy.
These are just a few key points to keep in mind when caring for your trees. For more tips, Triangle Gardener lays out 10 ways to keep your trees healthy.
Do Your Part to Protect Pollinators - Keep Your Trees Healthy
Pollinators are crucial to the production of food throughout the world. Unfortunately, parasites, loss of habitat, and the use of pesticides all have negative effects on the pollinator population. By keeping your trees healthy, you’ll be providing blossoming flowers to the pollinators for fuel and pollen for the reproduction of plants to come.
Contact us at Rogue Tree Solutions when you need Certified Arborists that care about protecting pollinators, trees, and the quality of your plants.