Your trees may seem like a permanent feature of your property, always present, and, yet, easily taken for granted. In truth, they’re like any element of your landscaping, deserving of the same care and attention you give your flowers or shrubs.
Otherwise, your trees may suffer from a lack of nutrients, fungal infections or opportunistic pests. While these issues are easy to avoid, homeowners are often unsure where to begin. They’re unfamiliar with the standard protocol for preserving their trees.
Your trees are more than aesthetic additions to your property. Among the many benefits of trees, they reduce dust levels, lower temperatures and enhance the water quality in their area.
In short, trees are crucial to your comfort, as well as curb appeal. You should take precautions to protect them, and, fortunately, these methods are simple. As long as you follow the five strategies below, you can feel confident in the lasting health of your landscaping.
1. Prune Branches to Avoid Pests and Damage
Have you noticed any branches on your trees that look dead, damaged or diseased? If so, you should set aside time to prune them to prevent any pest infestations or additional damage. You’ll promote healthy growth throughout the year and maintain your landscaping. Perhaps even more importantly, you’ll reduce the risk of damage to your roofing or other home features.
That said, timing is important. You should tend to the majority of your pruning in the late winter months, like February and March. However, if you have trees that flower in the spring, such as magnolias and lilacs, then summer is the best season to prune.
2. Water Your Trees to Strengthen Their Roots
Among other suggestions for summer tree care, this is one of the most obvious. Your trees need water to remain healthy, especially when the trees are young or freshly planted. Provide at least 1-inch of water per week, and your trees will stay green and lush.
When watering your trees in the warmer months, go out early in the morning before the heat sets in for the day. Add the water slowly over an extended period of time to reach the entire root system, and remember — deeper and less-frequent watering is better than shallow, frequent watering.
3. Maintain a Rich Soil Environment With Mulch
In the forest, trees have a layer of decaying organic matter that enriches the soil. In your yard, the situation is different. You don’t have that microbial environment, so you have to simulate it with mulch, ground cover or grasses that create the same effect.
You should maintain a layer of mulch around your trees between two and four inches, avoiding the trunk and root flare. Your ground cover and grasses are also effective, acting as a kind of living mulch. However, it’s critical to choose plants with spreading roots so there isn’t any competition with the tree itself.
4. Inspect Your Trees to Prevent Infestations
Many pests are active in summer, and you may have to contest with aphids, spider mites, bagworms and Japanese beetles. They represent only a small fraction of insects that can potentially harm your trees, and you need to know how to identify the signs of an infestation.
To start, check the leaves for damage, discoloration, borer holes, sudden leaf thinning or unusual leaf sizes. Next, look for holes or grass on the trunk, lifted roots or less growth in your branches when compared to previous years. If you come across these indicators, reach out to a professional.
5. Preserve Bark With Proper Lawn Care Practices
A tree with damaged bark is far more susceptible to fungal or bacterial infections. Unfortunately, bark is sensitive to lawn equipment, the friction of branches and even sprinkler heads. When water impacts the tree in the same place, day after day, it may cause an issue.
You have various solutions to preserve the bark of your trees, like redirecting your sprinkler heads, pruning branches and taking a cautious approach with lawn equipment. As long as you remain mindful of the bark on your trees, they’ll continue to provide the benefits you’ve come to enjoy.
Give Your Trees the Attention They Deserve
Trees may seem like a permanent fixture of your property, but they won’t survive without your care. With that in mind, follow the five suggestions on this list and reach out to a professional if necessary. As long as you maintain the health of your trees, they’ll improve your quality of life and the appearance of your landscaping for many years to come.
About The Author: Holly Welles is a home & garden writer. She shares more advice on creating beauty in your home on her own blog, The Estate Update, and on Twitter.
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