The care and maintenance of trees are vital to sustaining the health of our ecosystem. By getting tree care professional to prune and remove deadwood, maintaining the health of the soil and tree removal, if required, will be key to keeping the health of your ecosystem. By contacting a Tree Care professional, they will provide appropriate services to any tree in any environment to ensure the health and growth is sustainable and managed.
Water is key to the survival of any living being on our planet. A tree suffering from lack of water is vulnerable to pests and diseases and transplant shock, which may result in the death of the tree or trees. Here are some key things to note for the appropriate watering of trees.
- The first 2 to 4 years of the tree’s life will require watering regularly to establish the tree’s health.
- Trees will need water at least once a week. In dry periods you will need more frequent watering, and in wet seasons or periods of heavy rain, the tree will obviously not need as much.
- Watering should take place in the morning for it to be most effective.
Unlike plants, trees don’t usually require fertilizer. Fertilizers are used to promote growth that is already sprouting and is not usually used to fix an unhealthy tree. Over-fertilizing can be very harmful as it will affect the growth and may, in some cases, cause the tree to die. The importance of understanding how fertilizers can affect the life of your tree is vital to know when planting or maintaining an existing tree.
Why Trees Are Important To Our Environment
Arbor Day has been celebrated for over 100 years, but its importance is even more poignant than when it was first introduced by J. Sterling Morton way back when. Deforestation has an enormously detrimental impact on our global environment, and the effects are widespread.
Here are some of the benefits trees offer to the world around us:
- Trees fight climate change. Trees battle climate change by helping to remove carbon dioxide from the air as well as releasing more oxygen into the atmosphere. For this reason, deforestation has contributed to climate change in recent years.
- Trees tame stormwater. Rain is needed in our environment, but without trees, stormwater runoff can wreak havoc. Trees provide a needed benefit to our community infrastructure by shielding us from water generated during rainy periods.
- Trees help with conservation. In the agricultural industry, trees can have many benefits, such as improving crop yields and preserving topsoil. In addition, trees planted strategically in wetland areas can prevent erosion and even contribute to cleaner water and flood control.
- Trees save on energy consumption (and costs). Summer shade, winter warmth, windshield are all ways that can help reduce our energy consumption. Your local landscape professional can help create a strategic tree planting plan to place the right trees in the right places to save on energy costs and benefit the overall climate around you.
Like all living organisms, trees and shrubs need proper nutrients to live long, healthy lives. The proper maintenance methods can prevent tree diseases and insect invasion, and with these tree maintenance tips, you can help improve the health and beauty of your trees.
How To Make A Tree Healthy Again
6 Tree Maintenance Tips To Keep Trees Healthy And Strong
- Plant the right tree in the right place. Pick a tree meant for your area, then find a spot that will get enough sun and provide enough space for its full-grown canopy. Before you dig, make sure it’s not too close to power lines, underground utility lines or your home. Finally, don’t plant it too deeply! That’s the number one mistake our Davey arborists see.
- Properly water. Just like any other plant, you need to water trees! If it hasn’t rained for several weeks, check to see if your tree needs a drink. Usually, mature trees need one inch of water a week. New trees require somewhere between 4 to 10 gallons each week during the first growing season or two.
- Mulch. Mulch insulates tree roots, protects them from lawn mower cuts and helps prevent dry soil. Help your tree reap these benefits by removing grass underneath the tree and spreading 2-to-4 inches of mulch. Be careful not to cover the base of the trunk.
- Fertilize. In the forest, natural plant materials feed the soil around trees. But in our yards, we rake and remove all those natural nutrients, like leaves and grass clippings. Fertilizer solves that problem. Apply a slow-release fertilizer regularly to release nutrients into the soil. Also, test your soil periodically to see if any elements are missing or in short supply.
- Prune. Proper trimming improves trees’ structure while also removing any deadwood holding them back. Do major pruning when the tree is dormant and doesn’t have any leaves (if possible). Then, in summer, focus on tidying up and clearing out small, dead or damaged twigs.
- Book checkups. Scheduling your annual checkup? Make an appointment for your tree, too! Spotting signs of pests or diseases early can make all the difference. ISA Certified Arborists® look for red flags like discoloured leaves, cankers, holes, and more. Then, they provide a plan of action on how to help.
Importance of Tree Maintenance
Keeping your yard beautiful and healthy takes time and dedication. One important aspect of yard care is caring for your trees. At Ted Collins, we have solutions for every problem that may arise. Here are a few common tactics that we use to care for trees.
Tree pruning is a key component of keeping your tree healthy. In many cases, certain branches of your tree may cause harm to your tree if not pruned. Some branches may be diseased, dead, or otherwise structurally unsound. By pruning your trees, you can keep diseases spreading to the rest of your tree, avoid storm damage from falling trees, and keep the structural shape of your tree intact.
Tree cabling is a process by which high strength steel cables and bolts are attached to tree branches in the upper crown of a tree canopy. This is done to support trees with splitting v-crotches. A v-crotch is an area of a tree where it diverges in such a way that the trunk begins to split. By bolting a cable between two larger branches in the canopy, it helps to bind the tree together as branches twist and turn in storms. If your tree has a v-crotch, it is important to address it, so your tree does not become harmed in the next storm.
Obviously the most permanent of the three options, removal eliminates any tree problems altogether by removing the said tree from the property. Removal may be necessary if a particular tree is affected by certain diseases or infestations. Removal should only be done at the recommendation of an arborist when absolutely necessary.
How to Inspect the Health of a Tree
You’ve done your homework by assessing both your property aspect and your climate before selecting trees that suit your growing habitat. And you’ve taken care to plant your selections according to the directions for the species and work hard to water, prune, and fertilize them as needed. But even with the best of care, trees can still become sick. Know what to look for when assessing whether or not your tree is healthy. These crucial indicators will guide you toward proper maintenance for years to come.
Inspect the Central Leader
Most landscape trees should be pruned to have only one central leader (the vertical stem at the top of the trunk). This leader adds strength and stability to the tree structure and creates the tree’s upright and straight appearance. More than one leader may, eventually, cause the tree to split, creating a wound for insect or disease infiltration.
Some trees, however, can exist (and thrive) with more than one leader. These species include fruit trees like peach, nectarine, cherry, and plum trees, species that contain several trunks (each trunk should have one main leader), and some topiary and bonsai forms, like an espalier, which are pruned and trained to take on a certain growth pattern.
Check for Yearly Growth
A healthy tree will produce new growth every year on both its trunk and its branches. Inspect the progress yearly by checking the distance between the current season’s buds and last year’s (evidenced by scars on the branch). The appropriate growth varies by species, so check with your local garden centre and understand the specs for your variety to know what to expect.
Growth rings on the trunk can tell you how much your tree has grown over the past year. However, the only real way to gauge the age of the tree is to cut it down to reveal the rings. Still, a healthy tree’s trunk will expand in thickness each year. Take out a tape measure and gauge the growth of the trunk. Even a minute expansion can be a good indicator of health.
Prune Dead or Broken Branches
Each year, prune dead and broken branches as soon as they appear. Dead branches left in place provide an invitation for insects and diseases to move in. Test any suspect branches by scraping the branch with your thumbnail. Living branches will be green underneath, and dead ones will show brown. You can also test the branches by gently bending them. Living branches will be supple and bend easily. Dead branches will snap with increased pressure.
Inspect the Trunk Health
With the exception of certain trees (like birch, eucalyptus, and maple trees), the bark of your tree should not come loose or peel. The bark should be free of fungi or moss, as well. Take care when using garden equipment around trees, as damage to the trunk, like a nick or a gouge, can leave an open wound for insects and disease to attack. Check your tree for large cracks or holes and cover them with a tree guard if they are substantial.
Tend to Bare Patches
If you have an evergreen tree like pine, spruce, or hemlock, watch out for sections of the tree that become bare or free of needles. Common causes of bare patches include a lack of nutrients or water reaching certain branches, damage due to animals eating the needles, improper pruning practices, pesticide damage, insect infiltration (from the pine beetle, bark beetle, or pine weevil) and disease (like canker, rust, or shoestring disease).
A deciduous tree, on the other hand, will grow its leaves in the spring and then shed them in the fall, remaining bare all winter long. This seasonal manifestation should not alarm you, as it’s a natural process.
Check for Proper Leaf Color, Shape, and Size
A good indicator of good tree health is the appearance of the leaves. Make sure the tree’s leaves contain the right colour hue for the season. In most deciduous trees, this means green leaves in the spring and summer and yellow, orange, or red leaves in the fall. On evergreens, green needles year-round is a healthy sign.
Unless a tree naturally produces yellow or variegated leaves in the spring and summer, be wary of this colour. It could be an indicator that the tree is not getting enough water or nutrients. Also, the tree’s leaves should not be stunted or irregularly shaped. This characteristic can be a sign of nutrient deficiency, insect damage, pesticide damage, or disease.
Know the Signs of Disease
If your maintenance practices are top-notch, poor tree health can be due to insects or disease. Warning signs of either invader include visible insects, a lack of fruit or flowers on a fruit tree, distortion in the leaves, holes in the bark, irregular growth on the branches, and oozing sap on evergreens.
Another common sign that a tree is stressed is wilting when the leaves and stems lose their rigidness and begin to droop. If this happens, first, check your watering. Are you watering too much or too little? Additionally, your tree may be getting too much sun for its species. Wilting can also indicate over-fertilization or a tree that is root-bound.