Aside from flowering plants and shrubs, trees can also help improve the look for any property with beauty, shade, tranquility, and home value. Trees are beneficial to keep healthy. That’s why it is important to learn as much as you can when it comes to tree maintenance and care.
Trees do more than just give beauty to your lawn. They also provide shade, reduce air pollution, and cut energy costs. Did you know that the current global forest cover stands at 31%, which is about 4.06 billion hectares? It may sound impressive, but that is not adequate to deter an approaching climate disaster. Therefore, planting more trees is needed to save the planet.
For some people, planting trees is not an issue, but they find taking care of them a challenge. Tree maintenance and care are just as important as planting them, as that is the only way they can thrive. If you want your lawn to look even more beautiful, then learning to maintain and care for your trees properly is one of the best ways.
Taking care of a tree is more than just watering and trimming every once and then. Doing these can definitely help, but there are more things you can do for them. If you are curious about these, read on as we’re giving you the best tips on tree maintenance and care.
The Right Type of Tree for Your Lawn
Proper tree care starts with choosing the right kind of tree and planting it in the right place. Before you plant, you need to ensure that it will thrive, especially when it becomes fully grown where you wish to plant it. There are two things that you need to consider when choosing the type of tree to plant.
The first thing you need to think of it’s the purpose of the tree. Are you planning to plant one for aesthetics, shade, privacy, or windbreak? Your goal will determine the suitability of various trees. The other consideration that you need to make is the planting site limitations. You need to find out your hardiness zone, the maximum height and spread for a tree in the space, the soil conditions, and the sun exposure.
Ways to Keep Trees Healthy
After you’ve planted your chosen tree on your lawn, you need to constantly care for it. They going to be the most valuable and hardest working parts of your landscape. Therefore, proper maintenance is needed for their continued growth and ongoing health. With that, here are some of the best ways to keep trees healthy and maintained.
- Remove the stakes of the tree early.
A tree should be allowed to sway in the wind. This way, it will be able to develop a stronger trunk. If a newly-planted tree can’t stand on its own, you can try the two-stake system with a loose, flexible tie in between to provide support to the trunk. As soon as the tree can stand on its own, you need to remove the stakes. This is usually a year after planting the tree.
- Always keep the grass away.
When grass grows up against the trunk of the tree, it will compete with the tree for air, water, and nutrients. Most of the time, it wins the competition. Also, young trees often develop poorly when grass row right up against their trunks. Therefore, for best results, you need to maintain a grass-free area around the tree.
- Water the tree properly.
Tree watering is an important part of tree care. For newly planted trees, watering immediately after planting is needed. You can water them with a steady stream of water from a garden hose with a diffuser nozzle for 30 seconds for every tree seedling.
During the first two years, the newly planted tree expended lots of energy trying to get its roots established in the soil. During this time, it may have a difficult time dealing with drought and heat. Therefore, deep watering can help speed the root establishment. It involves keeping the soil moist to a depth that includes all the roots of the tree.
Not enough water is bad for the tree, but too much is harmful, too. Keep in mind that moist is different from soggy, and this can be judged by feel. A damp soil that dries easily will allow enough oxygen to saturate the soil. You can check the moisture of the soil by using a garden trowel and inserting it into the ground up to 2 inches. Move the blade back and forth to make a small narrow trench. Touch the soil with your finger. If it is moist, then watering is not needed.
- Fertilize only when needed.
You should not assume that all trees need to be fertilized on an annual basis. Young trees may need occasional fertilizing until they are established, but mature trees usually do not need to be fed at all. You only need to fertilize trees if they are growing poorly or if you notice yellowing vegetation. You can also perform a soil test to determine which nutrients the tree needs.
- Mulching is important.
Mulch is not just a decorative element for your lawn. It also helps trees to retain water, particularly in dry places. In addition to that, it helps protect the trees from severe temperature changes. It is also very beneficial for newly planted trees. The amount of mulch that you need for your trees vary depending on their size. Around three to ten feet of mulch around the tree are needed for best results.
- Keep the roots of the tree safe.
You need to avoid driving any cars or equipment over the roots of the trees. When you do this, the soil above the roots compacts, reducing available oxygen. Lack of enough oxygen can make the roots die off and kill the whole tree. In addition to that, you also need to avoid adding and removing soil under the tree canopies. Also, be careful when changing soil grade to prevent damaging the roots. It is better to call a trusted landscaping professional to make any changes.
- Prune the tree properly.
Pruning can help enhance the strength and structure of the trees, making thinning cuts as opposed to heading cuts. But for large trees, it is better to consult a certified arborist. Pruning correctly and pruning at the right time can go a long way.
- Protect the tree trunk.
Avoid bumping your lawnmowers or whipping the trunk with weed-eaters as these damage the bark and trunk of the tree, which in turn weakens the tree structurally while inviting insects and disease. You can protect young trees with plastic wraps that are available at nurseries and garden centers. It is also better to maintain a 2- to 3-foot-wide grass-free, mulched ring around the tree.
- Keep pests controlled and keep an eye out for diseases.
Insect pests and diseases can cause serious damage to trees and weaken them. Therefore, you need to monitor your trees for any unusual changes, such as spots on the leaves or fungi on the barks. If there are any abnormal structural changes, then there’s definitely something wrong with the tree. If that’s the case, reaching out to professional plant healthcare services is the best solution. You can also use the insect control formula, but you need to carefully follow the instructions on how to use it to avoid causing more harm to your trees.
These are some of the best tips that we can give when it comes to tree maintenance and care. By putting these tips to practice, you will be able to let your trees grow well and enjoy their benefits. Keep in mind that they are not only decorative elements to your lawn but are also important for saving the earth. Therefore, take good care of your trees not just for the aesthetics of your yard but as well as for the future of our planet.