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Tips For Taking Care of Your Trees

During the spring and summer, we eagerly devote a lot of attention to our lawns and gardens, but often our trees are overlooked. The types of trees we have gracing our property will influence the time it takes to trim and prune them. When we built our home we decided to landscape our yard with trees that would fit our property lot size, but color and shape were also considered. If I’m being honest, we never factored in yearly care. We’ve since learned how to care for our trees properly from the experts at our local greenhouse. So dust off your gardening tools; I’d like to share a few tree caring tips with you.

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Prune At The Right Time
The best time to prune is during the tree’s dormancy time, which is in winter. Pruning after the season’s coldest temperatures have passed in late winter, can lead to impressive and healthy growth in the spring. I have one Amur Maple tree, and it bleeds sap during pruning, but this is normal and will cease when it starts to bloom.

Mature trees need to be pruned regularly to remove dead or diseased branches or to remove excess weight from the ends of branches. It’s important to note that inadequate pruning compromises the health of your trees. It’s imperative that you avoid ‘topping’ your tree; this harmful practice ruins the tree’s natural structure. It also starves the tree by removing food-producing leaves, creates a portal for disease, and initiates the tree’s eventual demise. If you’re a novice gardener, and not sure when to prune your specific tree, contact a landscaping professional or the Arbor Day Foundation for advice.

Use Appropriate Tools
When trimming or removing branches, use sharp tools to minimize damage to the bark. Young trees are best pruned with one-hand pruning shears with curved blades. For taller trees with out of reach branches, use a pole pruner or you may have to hire a professional tree groomer.

Watering
Like our delightful gardens and flower beds, our trees need water to thrive. Insufficient watering can make it hard for trees to flourish in summer, but overwatering can be harmful as well. It’s suggested that we water each tree in our yard with a sprayer hose for 30 seconds and it should be sufficient. Other’s suggest that matures trees need a regular monthly deep soak in the absence of rain. Newly planted trees may require more moisture to establish their root system. You might want to consider laying mulch to retain moisture and allow the tree to develop a strong root system.

Remove Built Up Soil
Roots require oxygen and by ensuring the root crown is dry and exposed to air, you’ll prolong the life of your tree. Root crown fungus growth will slow down when the fungus is exposed to air. Be careful you don’t place fill soil over the roots, the oxygen content of the soil where the roots are located is reduced. This oxygen depletion often causes the small feeder roots to die.

It’s also important to remove competing plants like ivy and grass. These plants hide areas of decay and trap moisture around the root crown causing the perfect environment for fungus to thrive. Garbage collects under ivy’s and offers shelter for unwelcomed critters. Summing it up, all plants within the drip line should be removed.

If your tree shows signs of fungus, disease, decay, or clusters of mushrooms growing from or next to the trunk, consult with a professional. They can evaluate the depth of root crown infection.

Our trees adorn and beautify our lawns with their majestic stature, so they deserve consideration. Their swaying branches and rustling leaves fill our spirit with peaceful sounds. They provide shade on hot days, homes for birds, squirrels, and other animals, and lots of clean oxygen to the world. So there are plenty of reasons to love and care for our stunning trees.

20 Comments

  • My hubby does a good job of looking after our trees. He follows most of the recommendations that you have listed.

  • I think one of the best pieces of advice I could give is just leave them alone! Some people fiddle with their trees way too much, when they should just be left to do their thing. Like stirring the food in your frying pan constantly when you are trying to brown… It doesn’t work! Not only should you only prune at the right time of the year, but pruning should be done selectively and with purpose. Just remove damaged limbs or to refine the shape (thin the number of branches to improve vigour or to remove excessively low-lying branches or branches threatening to damage structures or power lines, etc.)

  • Great post, never thought of looking after our trees, we just let mother nature do that, so far the trees that we do have are growing big and tall!!

  • I’ve never had any really big trees so haven’t had to consider much about trimming. I do wish that I had the bottom of my garden looking like that photo, absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately gardens these days are minute and people have less time to take care of them too.

  • Because of all the high winds these past few years we had to remove the trees from our front yard because they posed a danger to our home if uprooted by the wind,but we have lots in the backyard and i love to sit on the back deck and watch nature at its best,the birds feeding their young and the chipmunks collecting the nuts.Trimming is so important.

  • When planting trees near your house be careful to select proper trees in regard to size so you don’t have to destroy them later on because they interfere with underground pipes, etc.

  • My greatest tip for trees is don’t let a man with a saw near them. They will hack away at those poor trees until they kill them.

  • We have a birch tree that we treasure in our yard and it seems to be dying. We spent several hours last week cutting off dead parts. Wish we could save it.

  • Thanks for the tips!! Amazing what a little time and afford can do to make our surrounding trees looks so great 🙂

  • It’s nice to have a blend of deciduous and evergreen, so that when the deciduous lose their leaves you still have some cover and green the rest of the year.

  • great tips! We have a few larger trees and lots of bushes on the property, .. i was so sad to see some neighbors down the street cutting down some beautiful mature trees in their yard a few weeks ago! so many in our area seem to be following that trend, it may be for safety from wind storms or just to tall, not sure!But sad to see them go!

  • My likes to do the walk around my yard and take care of things such as the trees and general maintenance…..his hobby, and I’m happy to oblige 🙂

  • (Tips For Taking Care of Your Trees) It’s been awhile since we have had to plant any news trees around our home. We live in a neighborhood that has some woods around it. And man you sure can tell it in the fall!

  • We have a lot of trees in distress in our neighborhood. People seem to like watering their grass, but not their trees just two feet over.

  • Thank you for these tips. I did not know the proper time to trim trees. Now I do. The other tips are very helpful as well. I learn something new and useful every time I open a blog.

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