In Oregon, tree care is something you may not think about often since trees are everywhere here. They seem to grow without any help from anyone. It’s something you should consider, though, if you’re a homeowner or a business owner with trees on your property. A little care for your trees can go a long way, especially in lengthening their lives and making sure they have a good quality of life in the meantime.
A beautiful, healthy tree will help increase the value of your home as it matures. On top of that, it will provide shade in the summer and a windbreak in the winter. Plus, coming home will be doubly satisfying since your trees and your home will look fantastic. Here are five things you need to know about tree care in Oregon:
1. If You’re Planting a Tree, Do Your Research
If you dig a hole and stick a tree in it without knowing anything about what needs that tree might have, you could be in for a big, expensive headache down the road. Of course, if your trees are already mature, you won’t have to worry about this so much. But if you want to add to the value of your property and let something beautiful grow, you’ll need to know what your tree will need. How about its watering needs? If all you have is swampy ground, you’ll want to find out what kind of trees like lots of water all the time. A drought-resistant tree may not thrive in that space, nor will a tree that requires good drainage.
Make sure to plan ahead as well. Will your tree have enough space to spread its roots and branches? You could go nuts listening to those branches tapping against your kitchen window all night long in a high wind.
2. Watering Your Tree in the Summer
This is especially important as our summers get longer and drier. Oregon is famed for its rainy days, but that simply means you don’t have to worry so much about watering once fall has started. When it’s especially hot outside, though, be sure that you’re deep watering your trees. This will keep your trees from losing their leaves due to dehydration or shock.
When deep watering, instead of watering your trees a little bit every day, water them really well every other day. This ensures that the soil down at the roots is getting water where it’s needed most. Watering a little bit every day means that the water may not get deep enough for the roots to take advantage of it. Take your hose (or use a soaker hose system) and water away from the trunk of the tree, in a loose spiral, until you’re just past the branches above you. This guarantees that you’re getting to every last rootlet.
3. Pruning Every Year
Different trees require different pruning techniques and may even have a better season for pruning, so be sure you know what that is before you get started. Every tree will like a little pruning every so often—think of it like getting a haircut. When you remove dead branches on your tree, you can increase the structural integrity, improve its form, and allow more air and light to reach the main branches inside the canopy.
Think of it as also improving its immune system, which will help it to fight off disease and pests. Pruning is also a preventative measure. If you leave a dead branch on a tree, it could create problems later and even compromise a main branch or the whole tree itself.
When you’re pruning, be sure to take your time and be aware of what you’re doing. If you’re pruning to remove a diseased branch and then continue using the same tools on the rest of the tree, you may end up spreading the disease around rather than removing it from the tree. You should always sanitize your tools before you move on to another area or tree. If the potential for disease is a major concern, it might be a good time to contact professionals. Certified arborists are pros at this sort of thing.
4. Keeping an Eye on Things
Year-round, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect your trees, just to see if there are any changes, large or small, that might need attention. Taking a quick gander every couple of weeks or every month can help you familiarize yourself with your trees so that if something happens—such as a pest infestation—you’ll be able to tell. In the summer, you’ll be able to see whether you’re watering correctly, and if you check your trees often, you might be able to spot trouble spots before they become big problems, such as encroaching moss or lichen or cracks in major branches.
5. Seasonal Maintenance
Seasonal maintenance is important not just for your trees but for your lawn as well. Raking up fallen leaves is essential to the health of both your trees and your lawn. It turns out that the leaves won’t just mulch and become fertilizer for next year all on their own—that’s a much longer process—and in the meantime, the extra cover could kill your grass. By letting the leaves stay where they are, you’re opening yourself up to extra work in the spring. You also might have to fight extra hard against pests or weeds. That extra cover can also provide a home and food for insects or the perfect environment for mold. It’s just better all-around to do the work now. You’ll be working smarter, not harder.
At Mr. Tree, we care about your trees. Just ask any of our friendly, knowledgeable experts. Our experienced certified arborists can take care of all your Oregon tree care needs—just give us a call, and we’ll come to help you out, whether you need tree removal after a storm or it’s just an annual check-in. We’ll bring our state-of-the-art tools and the latest techniques to make your trees look their best and stay healthy, no matter the season.