As our trees bloom and grow, it’s easy to take for granted that these strong and solid pillars of our landscaping are still vulnerable to a variety of factors. From destructive pests to opportunistic illnesses, our trees could use a little help from us. Summer tree care is the key to changing an eyesore into a landmark. Here are a few summer landscaping tips to give your trees the love and attention they deserve so they can thrive for generations to come.
During the hot months of summer, it’s not uncommon to experience drought conditions. When the rain stops, you will need to take irrigation into your own hands. Trees, just like any plant, require consistent watering to stay healthy. The two important factors of irrigation are frequency and depth.
Trees need to be watered once every week or two, depending on the weather. If it hasn’t rained in a while and temperatures are consistently reaching 80 degrees or higher, then it’s a good idea to water your tree.
Your watering depth is just as important as your watering frequency. It’s always better to water deeply, allowing the water to reach deep into the soil. This will allow your tree’s root system to grow deep and strong. These watering techniques are essential to your summer tree care and will help you achieve the beautiful, healthy landscaping that you’re looking for.
Most people add mulch around their trees because it looks good, but the benefits of mulch don’t stop at the aesthetic. Mulch insulates the soil so your trees’ roots are protected from the extreme heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter.
Not only does mulch insulate against temperature changes, but it also helps retain moisture. The beautiful addition to your landscaping will help lock in moisture so the soil stays hydrated for longer. This moisture retention means you won’t have to worry about watering your trees in between the summer rain storms.
The final benefit of mulch is that it works as a weed barrier around your trees. Weeds exist to rob nutrients from the surrounding area; nutrients that your trees need. A 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of your tree will block any weeds from receiving the sunlight and air they need to grow. This smothers the weeds before they can grow and provides your trees exclusive access to the nutrients they need.
Deep Root Fertilization
Grass, flowers, and plants aren’t the only things that need fertilization, your trees could benefit from it as well. But, how do you fertilize a tree and do traditional fertilizers even work for trees?
Traditional fertilizers aren’t very effective on trees because they take too long to get down to the roots and are often washed away by the rain. Another issue with traditional fertilizers is that you aren’t just feeding your tree, you’re also feeding the grass and neighboring plants with shallow root systems. Most of the nutrients are stolen before they even get to the tree’s roots. That’s where deep root fertilization comes in.
With deep root fertilization, you can rest assured that your tree (and only your tree) will receive all of the nutrients. The deep root feeding process involves a mixture of fertilizer and nutrients being injected directly into the root system. This means the tree gets exactly what it needs, right where it needs it. No waiting around for the fertilizer to reach the root system and no worrying about it being washed away by the summer storms. The injection of liquid fertilizer also benefits the surrounding soil by breaking it up and relieving soil compaction.
Some of the benefits of deep root fertilization include:
- Rapid root growth.
- More attractive and healthier trees.
- Reduced soil compaction.
Here at On The Green, we have tree fertilization services as a major part of our Green Care Tree & Shrub Program.
The next summer tree care tip is to treat your trees to some summer pruning. Typically, it’s best to prune your trees during the dormant seasons but, there are a couple of reasons to prune in the summer as well.
During this time of year, it’s good to do some damage control. Check your trees for broken branches, low-hanging branches, diseased or pest-damaged branches and prune them away. Not only does it make your trees look better, but it also has health benefits. Remove dead or dying branches to redirect water and nutrients to the rest of the tree, giving it an extra boost of growth for the small branches. You can also train the way your young tree grows and keep it clear of utility lines.
Make sure you’re using proper tree pruning techniques on your trees to ensure you aren’t harming them. If you have flowering fruit trees, make sure you wait until the tree is finished flowering before you start pruning. Always make sure that you are maintaining your pruning tools. Keep your pruning shears sharp and clean to avoid damaging or infecting your tree.
Insects are the number one cause of tree decline in the country. Insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Elm Bark Beetle are responsible for the deaths of millions of American trees but they aren’t the only ones. Japanese beetles, aphids, mites, spotted lantern flies, bagworms, and tent caterpillars love to feed on trees. These pests can severely weaken your tree’s immune system, leaving it vulnerable to fungus and disease.
The best way to protect your trees from pests is to stay vigilant. Watch for signs of insect damage like chewed leaves, leaf curl, and silky bags. If you see signs of insect damage then it’s important to act quickly. Sometimes, like with tent caterpillars and bagworms, pruning is the way to go. Other times, with aphids or Japanese beetles, pesticides are your best bet.
When in doubt, call the professionals at On The Green, Inc. With our tree and shrub program, we can identify and treat for a variety of destructive tree pests. In the fall and spring, we offer a dormant oil treatment to ensure you won’t have any pests overwintering on your trees. Dormant oil is sprayed on the trunk and branches of the tree, covering the eggs and adults in a viscous liquid that suffocates them and keeps your trees healthy.
Hire A Professional
Summer tree care can be complicated and stressful. Take the burden off your shoulders and hire someone who knows what they’re doing. The professionals at On The Green, Inc. know trees and have been treating them for over 20 years. We offer a 6-step tree and shrub care program that will boost the health and defense of your trees and shrubs.