3 Simple & Inexpensive Things Homeowners Can Do To Help Their Trees

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3 Simple & Inexpensive Things Homeowners Can Do To Help Their Trees

Trees are the largest plants in the world and vital to our environment. They provide oxygen and shade, prevent erosion and protect us from damaging winds. Healthy trees make for healthy communities and that is a top priority for our team.

Trees and shrubs can be impacted by environmental factors from diseases, pests and extreme weather. Tree maintenance is essential for the longevity and health of trees, but it takes work and maintenance to achieve. Regular tree care plays a critical role in sustaining their aesthetic beauty and increasing the property value of your home or business. Tree care doesn’t have to be expensive, here are our top 3 recommendations:

1. Mulching to the perimeter of the drip line of the tree.

Mulching approximately 2-4” in depth, is an inexpensive method has many benefits to the health of your tree including:

  • Helps with soil compaction. The health and structure of trees are a great reflection of soil health. Soil compaction is the most prevalent of all soil constraints on shade and tree growth.
  • Retains soil moisture and slows water evaporation. Consistent moisture is essential to your trees overall health and allows for better root water absorption. Drought stressed or over watered trees are more vulnerable to disease, insect infestations and branch dieback.
  • Enhances the soil nutrients, potency and increases oxygen content in soil as it breaks down.
  • Controls soil temperature as it protects roots from the heat of summer and cold of winter.
  • Reduces tree damage from lawn machinery.
  • Obstructs growth of weeds — so the tree doesn’t have to compete for nutrients in the soil.

2. Be sure your water schedule matches the trees needs.

Do not over or under water your trees. Use the following criteria for applying the accurate amount of water — apply 10 gallons of water per inch of tree diameter; for instance a one-inch tree will require 10 gallons of water each time it is watered. For mature trees 10 inches in diameter or more, apply 15 gallons of water per inch of tree diameter. Use a ruler to measure your tree’s diameter to figure out how much your tree(s) requires.

Deep root watering is the most effective way to water your trees as it saving you time and money while creating healthier trees. Over time, you actually use less water and it reaches the trees roots instead of evaporating on the surface. This way of watering also encourages trees to grow a deeper root system, which helps the overall tree structure — keeping it anchored during storms.

When watering for shorter periods (shallow watering), a good portion of the water actually evaporates before reaching the roots. In turn, this creates a shallow root system, which creates an issue during droughts or periods of little precipitation. Trees that have a shallow root system, have a harder time getting enough water from the top layer of soil — which also dries the fastest.

Signs a tree(s) is under watered:

  • Premature fall coloration
  • Dropping leaves
  • Yellowing of the leaves
  • Sun scorch
  • Wilted foliage
  • Sparse tree canopy

Signs a tree(s) is over watered

  • The area around the tree is regularly wet
  • New growth starts to decay before it’s fully grown or turns a light green or yellow
  • Leaves seem green but are delicate and break

3. Prune deadwood and train young branches.

Proper training pruning at a young age promotes better growth, reduces maintenance costs and allows your trees the potential to grow to maturity. The goal of training pruning keeps them healthy in the long-term while setting them up for a season of prosperous growth, enhances natural form or increases flower/fruit production and a lifetime of strong tree structure. Trees that aren’t regularly pruned or trimmed are more at risk to various types of damage and disease — opening them up to become infected with insects and other decay organisms.

A newly planted tree should wait to be pruned until it establishes a good root system — ~2-3 years after planting. And the best time to prune or trim trees and shrubs is during the winter while they are dormant. Pruning during this season is optimal because wounds heal faster, there’s less risk of disease or pest infestation, less sap (which attracts pests) and it’s easier to see each branch.

Having your trees pruned by an ISA Certified Arborist will help establish branch structure, allow enough distance between branches and the identification/removal of dead, dying or diseased branches that could potentially become dangerous in the future.

Learn more about pruning here.

Urban Soil is passionate about tree health and providing safe, quality and professional tree care services. Our ISA certified arborists are highly trained in all aspects of arboriculture. Urban Soil’s arborists are masters of their craft and have extensive biological expertise. Contact us for a free consultation.

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