Plants and flowers can come and go, but a tree is something different.
The sapling you plant as a new homeowner can begin to tower over your property by the time your children are grown. Trees add shade and beauty and boost the value of your home. You feel comforted and protected with a tree growing on your land.
In short, trees treat us well, and it’s our job to return the favor. Here are a few tips on how to improve the health of your trees.
Be careful when you dig
Older trees have long, deep root systems, which can extend far beyond the reach of the branches. When you do construction on your property, you should take care before you dig. Talk to your contractor about areas that are off-limits. A good rule of thumb is to stake off areas at least 10 feet from the farthest place the branches reach.
Watch where you park
When you park under a tree, it causes the soil to become compacted. Over time, this can kill the tree. (It can also damage your car.)
Use caution when mowing, weeding and pruning
Lawn mowers and weed whackers can cut into a tree’s bark. When that happens, it’s like getting a cut and not putting a bandage on your skin: your tree is open to disease. And when it comes to tree pruning, less is more. Older trees rarely need much work, aside from removing dead, damaged or unsafe branches. You should also trim thin, crowded growth on older branches.
Be sure to mulch
Mulch, applied correctly, can protect your tree from lawn equipment and pesticides while also keeping weeds out and keeping moisture in. A one-inch to four-inch layer of mulch around the base of a tree should be extended out at least three feet from the base of the trunk. The mulch should not come in contact with bark at the base of the tree. This contact can cause rotting and other issues that may require treatment.
Monitor water levels
Too little water, or too much water, can weaken or kill a tree. During periods of high heat and drought, even mature trees can benefit from additional water. The best way to water is infrequent but deep soakings. A tree planted in the last few years will need more water than a more established tree.
Educate yourself on tree diseases
It never hurts to pay attention to what’s happening with your trees. A certified arborist should be contacted if you see any unusual growth or coloration on the bark or leaves. They will be able to assess the health of the tree and develop treatment options if needed.
Explore your property
You may have a few trees or many. Identifying the types of trees are your property is an excellent way to learn more about the landscape around you. Take a closer look at your trees on a regular basis. Look for insects, dead branches, mushrooms growing near the base, or cracks and decay on the trunk.
Ask for professional advice
Pruning limbs and applying treatments improperly to trees can do more harm than good. And while you can always educate yourself on your trees, there are some issues you may want to leave to a professional.
When you do need a professional, contact Willow Tree and Landscape Services. Our certified arborists are experts at caring for your trees and protecting them from pests and diseases. We can make sure your trees are part of your home for as long as you live there.