How To Take Care Of Your Trees
Starting out on gardening? Looking to add some greenery and shade to your garden? Look no further and consider adding some new trees to it! Familiarise yourself with our Tree-Care 101, and get your new trees in tip-top shape.
The formative years of your new tree’s life are key to ensuring it stays healthy and in shape. In fact, the importance of this should not be overlooked as it could affect the lifespan of your tree. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to remove a tree, Tree removal Louisville can help.
Step-by-step guide on planting a tree
- Dig a hole that allows room for tree growth. It should be of equal depth but at least two times wider than the rootball unless you’re trying to plant a tree in compacted clay or soil.
- Lay a measuring stick to ensure the depth and size of the hole is sufficient for the tree, before placing the tree in.
- Clear out any metal containers or plastic coverings around the rootball and untie the rope securing it. The only exception for removal would be natural burlap, which can be left on. Ensure that the burlap is within the hole.
- Fill the hole back with the removed soil, taking care not to change the soil used in this process. Water the rootball around the two-third level of the hole, before adding more water after fully filling the hole back. Ensure the tree is kept straight and compact the ground soil with your foot.
- Prevent weed growth from affecting your new tree by adding sufficient mulch. Take care not to add too much mulch, lest you end up depriving your tree of the needed nutrients.
- If you are planting a barefoot seedling, soak its roots in a bucket of water no longer than 24 hours. Prepare a hole wide enough to spread out the roots, and snip away broken or overly long roots. Fill the hole up with the removed soil.
Caring for your new tree
Adequate water, nutrients, and sunlight are essential to the health of your new tree. Your tree will also need to be regularly mulched, pruned, and maintained to allow it to reach maturation. The handy tips below should be followed to give your new tree a good start.
Ensure that your new tree is well watered just after planting, to allow the soil to settle around its roots. Regular monitoring of the water your tree receives is needed, especially in its first six months.
Water your new tree every seven to ten days, should there be insufficient rainfall during its first growing season. Young trees need to receive an estimated 25 gallons of water weekly, amounting to 1.5 inches of rainfall.
Prevent runoff through using techniques such as making holes in the bottom of a large bucket placed next to the base of your tree. The bucket should be filled regularly throughout the week and allowed to drain into the soil.
For mature trees, research must be done to determine the frequency and amount of water to be given to it. Different trees require different amounts of water, though a general rule of thumb is monthly watering to prevent trees from dying due to a lack of water.
Control the growth of grass and weeds through mulching, which can aid to ensure moist soil around your tree, hence conserving water.
Ideal mulch material include shredded bark, wood chips, and compost made of leaves
Techniques such as “volcano mulching”, where mulch is heaped around your tree trunk should be avoided as they are detrimental to tree health, and can eventually cause tree death. This might also cause problems such as root rot, soil pH imbalance as well as lead to the occurrence of pests.
The 3-3-3 rule should be followed, where three inches of mulch is placed in a three-foot ring around the tree trunk, with a three-inch space left in between. When correctly done, the end shape should look like a doughnut. The mulch will help to keep the soil moist while simultaneously protecting your tree from damage by yard tools such as weed whackers.
Sanitization of tools used must be done prior to pruning, and in between pruning of different trees.
Dead branches and branches which grow at unhealthy angles should be ridden of. As with watering, there are different guidelines for different trees and research must be done prior to pruning. Light pruning may be done year-long.
Winter pruning should only be done when the weather starts to lighten up, rather than in the deep of winter. The summer prune should likewise be done after the main growing season has ended. Autumn is a bad time for pruning due to the heightened risk of fungal infection.
While taller branches may be trimmed with a pole saw, ensure that at least three-quarters of your tree’s living crown remains untouched at any season.
When pruning dead or diseased branches, do so where growth begins at the end of each branch collar — the raised portion at the base of the tree’s branch. Care should be taken not to cut into the branch collar, as this damages the tree trunk and leads to the onset of diseases and pests.
Watch out for new shoot growth at the base of the trunk. These shoots should be trimmed, lest they mooch water and nutrients from the main branches.
It is highly recommended to look at visual diagrams to get familiar with the proper way to cut and ensure you have a rough idea of what ought to be and what ought not to be done.
Removal of trees
There are times when a dying or diseased tree should be kept, such as when it does not endanger other trees around it, when it serves secondary functions such as sheltering other animals or providing shade, or if it is not at risk of falling.
However, there are also times when the removal of such trees should be considered. If trees are weak, likely to cause harm to property, people, or animals due to breakage, or are trees with shallow roots that will damage your garden, they should be removed.
Infested trees and diseased trees which may spread their condition to neighboring trees, together with trees that are more than 50% damaged also ought to be removed.
Vertical cracks and seams are signs of damage that suggest the tree is starting to decay from within. If the decay affects no more than one-quarter of the trunk’s circumference, there is a chance the damage can heal over time. If the decay is more than that, the tree should be removed more often than not.
Unless they compromise structural integrity, hollow trunks do not pose a major issue. Large dead branches need to be removed in a timely manner. Should there be large numbers of dead branches, the whole tree might have to be removed. Tree removal should also be considered if the removal of one tree aids in the growth of all surrounding trees.
Avoid reaching the removal stage when trees are older by simply following the tips and tricks in this article! Tend to the basic needs of the trees, and watch them flourish in the years to come!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can I turn to for help? Who takes care of trees?
An arborist is a person who is highly skilled in the planting and maintenance of plants. Hire a certified arborist or tree surgeon if you encounter any issues treating your infested trees. If you need help trimming, removing, or maintaining your trees, contact a tree servicing company.
How can I ensure my tree is healthy?
Regular monitoring of your tree and taking early action before problems escalate is the best way to ensure your tree’s health. Ensure the tree receives sufficient water and mulch, and prune the tree regularly to remove dead or diseased branches.
How often must a new tree be watered?
Water your new tree a minimum of once a week in its first month of growth. For the next half to one year, the water can be done fortnightly. If you are unsure, check four to six inches below the soil for signs of dampness. If the soil is dry, watering should be done.
With these tips and tricks, you can watch as your trees grow and flourish! Enjoy the shady comfort they provide in their later years after they receive your tender loving care in their younger days.