You finally have that beautiful tree that you have always wanted prominently standing in your yard. Congratulations! Now it is time to discuss tree care. At Mr. Tree, we want your tree to live the longest, healthiest life possible. Here are some tree care tips for you to follow in 2019.
1. Buy High-Quality Mulch
One of the most beneficial things you can do for your tree is choosing the right type of mulch, especially for younger trees. In fact, mulch is a young tree’s best friend. Why is mulch so important for tree care? It insulates the soil. This gives the tree a good buffer from extreme weather conditions, which is how it can survive in both hot and cold temperatures. Mulch also helps keep the roots of the tree moist by retaining water. By putting good mulch on the surface of the soil you are also helping to improve the oxygen levels the tree receives, as well as the soil structure.
When applied properly, mulch acts as the finishing touch on your garden as it will give your landscape an even more groomed look. If you also use a lawnmower in your yard, it acts as a protector against this to the tree.
The correct way of putting mulch on your tree is by keeping it away from the trunk. Depending on the size of the tree you have planted, be sure to remove any grass that is within a 3-10 foot area around your tree. It should be spread to a diameter of no less than 3 feet. The maximum depth it should reach is 3-4 inches. Natural mulch, which can be bark pieces or woodchips, is a good way to go.
2. Remember to Fertilize Your Tree
Many people believe that since a tree is growing on its own in their yard, it is already receiving all of the nutrients it may need, therefore it does not need fertilizer. This is not true. Anything you may do that makes the environment “less natural,” such as raking up the leaves that have fallen from the tree, makes the need for fertilizer greater.
Choosing a quality fertilizer is important as fertilizer help improve the health of a tree. You should look for fertilizers that are made up of both macronutrients and micronutrients. The right type of fertilizer makes trees better prepared to fight off potential disease, insects and pests, and any environmental stress that may arise. Fertilizer is one of a tree’s defense weapon and without it, may not remain healthy.
Trees that are growing should be fertilized throughout the year, with that amount increasing during the spring and summer months as it’s at this time where the roots of the tree are taking nutrients from the soil. Once trees are older, a few light applications of fertilizer throughout the year can suffice.
3. Prune Your Tree As Needed
Pruning is the act of cutting off branches or stems that have overgrown, may be dead, or are on the verge of dying. By doing this, you are allowing the healthy branches or stems the room and vitality to grow larger and fuller.
There is no real specific time when you should prune your tree as it all depends on the reason as to why you are looking to prune. Small amounts of pruning or removing dead parts of the tree can be done anytime and whenever you notice it is needed. The only time you should not prune is during the fall as this is when decaying fungi spread their spores resulting in slower healing times for the tree.
But remember, there are some things you should not do while tree pruning.
4. Water Trees Correctly
Know how much water your tree needs and when is a vital part of tree care. For instance, if the tree is newly planted, it needs watering immediately. Then during the following two years, regularly provide water for the tree and cover the soil with mulch as this will help it survive. Deepwater during this time too to ensure that the roots of a tree are also receiving proper care.
Too little or too much water can be detrimental to a tree. The soil should usually be moist, not saturated. This can usually be achieved by watering for 30 seconds with a steady stream of water from a garden house.
After the first couple of years, the roots will be established and the water provided by nature will often be enough, assuming your tree is native to the area. But continue to check on it and water as needed, especially during long periods of drought.
5. Trim Overgrown and Dead Branches
A bit different than just pruning your tree, sometimes a tree needs to be trimmed to look better. Whereas pruning may be something you want to attempt on your own before calling in an expert, tree trimming tends to need to be done by a professional.
If your tree begins to look a bit “wild”, it may be time for a trimming. By doing this, your tree will look more well-kept, which just adds to the beauty of your property. It will look healthier, too!
If you begin to notice that the branches of a tree are blocking sunlight, this also may be a sign it’s time for a trimming. But, keep in mind that we often advise people not to go about trimming on their own as a mistake could detrimentally impact the tree.
6. Thin Your Trees
If your tree is overgrown, you do not always need to result to trimming. Sometimes, tree shaping or thinning of the tree suffices if your landscape has begun a bit overgrown or become denser than desired.
Tree shaping is an artistic way to turn your trees from average plants to beautiful and intricate works of art. It’s the act of training and manipulating the growth of a tree, controlling the direction and shape of the branches, trunks, and roots, to form sculptural shapes.
If a tree is left too overgrown, it can not only decrease the aesthetic value of your property, but the tree can become unhealthy as well. Overgrown trees can also get in the way of the functionality of your home.
7. Call in a Professional for an Inspection
This is something that not many people think of, but we want to put it on your tree care tips radar for 2019. Having your tree inspected every few years by a certified arborist is a good idea. We are trained to spot things that you may have missed.
For instance, there may be a small crack that you did not realize was there or rot forming that just looked like normal discoloration to you. By having a professional come in, we will be able to spot problems early, ensuring that they do not spread. Think of it as a doctor’s check-up for your tree.
Make 2019 the year that you become a pro at caring for your tree. These seven tree care tips are a great start for ensuring a healthy and beautiful tree. Want some more advice? Stop by or give us a call.