Trees are an essential part of any landscape, enhancing beauty and adding value to your property. But like all living organisms, they require a little TLC to thrive.
Here are a few ways you can ensure your trees are getting the care they need. By following these tips, you can help them grow and thrive!
Pruning is a necessary component of any landscape maintenance program. It helps maintain tree health, improve aesthetics, reduce maintenance needs and improve home energy. It also can help protect your property by reducing safety risks caused by weakened or falling limbs and branches.
It also improves your view, whether it’s from the front of your house or in your backyard. This is especially important if you live near rolling hills, mountains, gorgeous sunlit horizons or moving waters.
To improve the fruit production or overall appearance of a tree, pruning should be done on a regular basis to remove dead or diseased branches that are blocking sunlight and hindering growth. By removing these branches, you can increase the size of the harvest and improve the quality of the fruit.
Removing dead or dying limbs also improves the health of your tree and prevents diseases from spreading throughout it. In addition, it can help reduce the likelihood that the branches will fall on people, vehicles or structures, and even cause damage to electrical lines.
When pruning, make sure to avoid tearing the bark from your tree’s trunk. Instead, use a three-step, stub-cut method to remove small branches without causing too much damage. The first cut should be about one-third of the way through the underside of the branch, and the final cut should be a “collar” cut made along the base of the branch (Figure 5).
For trees with needlelike foliage, such as spruce, pine, juniper, cypress, arborvitae, fir, yew and false cypress, pruning should take place early in the season. If you prune after new growth emerges, the plant may not produce green needles.
If you prune too often, your tree may not have sufficient food to support the foliage. This can lead to dieback and other health problems.
Lastly, a well-pruned tree has an attractive shape and better light and air circulation that helps to promote growth. The result is a tree that looks its best and provides the most benefit to your home and garden.
The type of pruning that you should do for your trees depends on the goals you have for them and what they are growing to accomplish. Typically, deciduous trees need to be pruned every two or three years, while evergreens are not as frequently trimmed.
Getting the right amount of water for your trees is critical to their health. If a tree doesn’t receive enough water, it can become stressed which in turn can lead to pests and diseases that can kill the tree.
When water is applied it helps cool the leaves of the tree, which in turn allows them to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the air. This process, called transpiration, also draws up and moves nutrients from the roots to the leaves.
Younger trees, particularly those that have been recently planted, need frequent watering. This can be done by spraying from a hose or using a soaker hose that slowly leaks the water out.
The amount of water your tree needs depends on several factors, including its species, how often it’s been watered in the past and the depth and texture of the soil. A useful rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water for each inch of the tree’s diameter, and it is better to water at intervals than to give a single large application.
Once your trees are established, you can water them less frequently. The main reason is that they have a developed root system, so their need for watering is lower. If you want to test if your tree needs water, push a screwdriver into the soil around the trunk. If the screwdriver passes easily, the soil is moist.
To ensure your trees receive adequate water, make sure to apply it evenly beneath the crown of the tree and to a depth of 3 feet. This area is known as the drip line and will benefit grass and other plants nearby.
You should be careful not to water too close to the base of the trunk, as this can cause root damage. If you must water close to the base of the trunk, use mulch to prevent water loss to evaporation and protect weeds.
When it comes to how to water your trees, drip irrigation is the best option. Drip irrigation is the most efficient way to deliver water and it’s more environmentally friendly than overhead hose or sprinkler systems.
A tree’s health depends on the nutrients it receives from the soil. If these nutrients are not plentiful, the tree will display signs of nutrient deficiency, including yellow leaves and dropped leaves during growth season. This will result in stunted growth, decreased resistance to insect pests and diseases, and reduced lifespan.
Fertilizers are a convenient way to supply these nutrients to plants. They contain the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that trees require in their most readily available forms. Some fertilizers contain additional micronutrients, like iron or magnesium, which can be helpful for certain types of trees.
Typically, tree fertilizers are applied in the spring. This is a time when deciduous trees have lost their leaves and active growth has begun to slow. This is also a great time to give your trees the extra nutrients they need to remain healthy and strong for many years to come!
However, it is important to remember that too much fertilizer can harm a tree. If a tree is receiving too much fertilizer, it will burn its roots, and this could potentially kill the tree!
It is best to use a fertilizer designed specifically for tree growth. These will contain the necessary nutrients and have a slow-release formulation, which means the fertilizer doesn’t go to waste.
If you’re not sure about the type of fertilizer your tree needs, contact a local arborist. They can perform a soil analysis that will tell you exactly what your tree needs.
In addition, they can set a fertilization schedule that will keep your trees and shrubs on track for the next year. They can also recommend a specific time to fertilize your trees each season, and they will make sure that the correct amount of fertilizer is being used for each plant in the area!
Another advantage of deep root fertilization is that it will provide your trees with the ideal soil conditions that they need to thrive. This will prevent your plants from becoming stressed, which can lead to yellowing leaves and decreased growth.
It is best to follow the directions on the bag of fertilizer and spread it as close to a tree’s roots as possible. This can be done by drilling 12-15″ deep holes every 2-3′ around the drip line of a tree, or by using a fertilizer spreader to evenly apply dry or liquid fertilizer.
Trees are host plants to many insects and fungi, and they need to be protected from these pests. They also have to be protected from natural factors such as wind and flood damage, which can weaken or kill trees.
To help ensure your trees are getting the care they need, use insect control products to reduce the number of pests that infest them. Insecticides are safe to use on your plants and will kill the pests while also preventing them from harming other plants in your garden. Action Tree removal services will come in handy, however, if your tree is already beyond saving.
Systemic insecticides can be applied to landscape trees and shrubs, and they usually provide year-long protection against pests. Some of the most common are neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam), which are used to control many pests such as borers, scale, ants, aphids and mites.
Neonicotinoids are absorbed into plant roots and can reach the vascular tissues of trees, resulting in long-lasting control. However, they must be applied at the proper time to ensure maximum effect.
The correct application of a soil-applied, bole-sprayed or trunk-injected insecticide depends on the type of insect and the size of the trees. Soil-applied products take about two weeks to be effective, while bole sprayed and trunk injected products protect your trees much faster.
Once you’ve identified the pest and determined which insecticide is right for your plants, follow instructions on the label to apply the treatment at the proper time. For example, a treatment for aphids should be applied in spring before the aphids are active.
If you have a problem with scale insects, treat by spraying the foliage or smothering the insect stages with horticultural oil. Scales are sap-sucking insects that produce waxy covers to protect themselves from predators and insecticides.
For best results, encircle several scale-infested twigs with transparent double-sided sticky tape during the spring before crawlers emerge. The tape will help effectively time your foliar insecticide application and keep the scale insects away.
Whether you’re treating a single tree or multiple trees, always scrub your tools with soap before using them to apply insecticides and disinfect your equipment afterward to prevent spreading plant pathogens on contaminated items.