10 Ways to Keep Your Trees Healthy
Trees hold some of the highest value and are the hardest working plants to our properties. They shade homes and communities, lower electric bills, increase property value, filter our air, and provide a habitat for many types of wildlife. They also add a beautiful and a calming presence to our everyday lives and landscape. Our trees can be a peaceful background setting, and often it’s easy to forget that they require our attention to stay healthy. Proper tree care is essential to their future growth and health. If tree care isn’t your specialty, we are happy to help with your tree service in Lakeland. Either way, here are 10 tips to keep your trees in good shape:
Plant the proper tree.
One of our most important tips help ensure you get years of enjoyment from any tree. Always achieve to plant a tree species that is well adapted to your climate, the type of soil around, amount of sunlight available, and space at the area you would like to plant it.
Remove tree stakes properly.
A tree that moves freely in the wind has potential to develop a stronger trunk. If a newly planted tree can’t stand on its own, use two stakes (one on each side of the root area) with a sturdy and flexible tie in between to support the trunk. Remove these support stakes as soon as the tree can stand on its own, which usually appears to be after a year.
Grass growing into the base of the trunk, no matter what grass species, competes with the tree for oxygen, water and nutrients, and the grass normally wins the battle. Freshly planted trees especially, often mature slowly when grass is able to grow against their base. It is proper to maintain a grass free, mulched bed around the trunk instead, and this usually provides the best results for maturing and staying healthy.
Water your trees correctly.
Young trees need watered regularly, and also mature trees need water during dry season, even though they are already stable. Water your tree trunk base sufficiently and deep, to saturate the entire root system. It is advised to allow the mulch and soil to dry before watering again. You should not rely on your sprinkler system to do the work for you. Irrigation systems rarely wet deep enough and can result in shallow rooted trees, meaning an unstable base. Drip irrigation lines are a good option that are more accurate and controllable.
It is wrong to assume trees only need to be fed annually. Young trees may need routine, additional fertilizing until well established, but large trees don’t need to be fed at all most of the time. You should feed your trees if they are growing poorly, limbs are dying out, or leaves are turning yellow.
It is recommended to lay a few inches of organic mulch, such as pine bark or other types, under the canopy of the tree. Mulch will cool down the soil, conserving moisture, enhancing soil quality and reducing growth of unwanted weeds.
Prune your trees properly.
Proper tree pruning methods enhance the integrity and strength of your trees. Making proper cuts by removing entire limbs at the base of the trunk, versus chopping parts of a branch, can encourage proper growth to the right places. For large trees, consult a professional tree company. Proper tree trimming, and performing it at the right time can make a big difference.
Protect tree roots.
Cars and heavy equipment should not have access to drive over the root flares of your trees. This will compact the soil, which reduces oxygen intake, and leads the health of your roots downhill. An unhealthy root system leads to an unhealthy tree. You should not remove or add soil to a tree bed without first consulting an arborist.
Protect the trunk.
Running into tree trunks with lawn mowers or hitting the base with lawn equipment can damage the bark and trunk. Doing this can weaken the tree structurally and also invite insects and disease to the environment. The best option is to create a 2 or 3 foot wide, mulched area around the base of the tree.
Insect pests like beetles, caterpillars, and termites can damage or weaken your trees, and also find their way to your home structure. Using pesticide treatment can help prevent this. Treatment can protect against pests for a while and also nourish your tree at the same time. Apply treatment near the base of your tree for protection from its roots to every branch.