Can I Use a Pressure Washer to Clean a Tree?

If you’ve never thought of doing this, this might seem like an odd question but surprisingly, I have seen people pressure washing huge tree trunks so it begs the question, is this a smart idea? We know that pressure washers are perfect for worn-out fences or sidewalks and making them look brand-new, so could the same be true for a tree?

Pressure washers are called pressure washers for that reason, they are 10 to 50 times stronger than your everyday garden hose. Can you imagine how much power that is the could hurt the tree? The consensus is no. You should never use a pressure washer on tree trunks. These superpowered hoses along with their motor can intensify the flow of water spraying out 1000 to 4000 pounds of pressure per square inch. To give you some perspective, your faucet or hose flows at about 50 pounds per square inch. That extra force can easily wipe away grime and residue but when you use it for a tree, the force actually removes the trees outermost layer. You could lose chunks of bark and if you continue to spray, you can damage the trees itself. Even if you use the lowest setting, it’s just too strong for a tree trunk.

The best way to clean off any grime, mildew or moss is to simply use your garden hose and a little bit of elbow grease. Sometimes moss will simply pull right off.

I think it’s important to mention that I’ve also heard of people using pressure washers to spray insecticide. This is also not a good idea because it will not only remove or shred the leaves, but you could spray it where it rains down on nearby areas creating a harmful canopy to your garden, lawn, or animals. If you’re set on doing this, it’s best to use a hydraulic tree sprayer with a pressure set at about 400 pounds per square inch.

For more questions about trees, tree removal, and protecting trees on your property throughout Snohomish County give us a call today.

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