Trees are living things, and like all living things they are very sensitive to changes in their environment. Just as with humans when stressful circumstances pile up, trees will often “get sick” and may even die from the overload of multiple problems affecting them.
Did you know that very few residential trees actually die of “old age”? The culprits killing your trees are usually improper care or mechanical damage rather than insects or disease.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your trees alive and thriving for many years!
What NOT to Do!
- Plant too close to your house or another obstacle – reduces adequate space for the tree and its root system.
- Pile up excessive mulch around the tree – encourages rodent damage and bark rot.
- Put non-porous black plastic under mulch – deprives roots of needed moisture.
- Coat pruning cuts with paint or sealer – slows healing and promotes pest problems.
- Spray unapproved herbicides over the root area – will weaken the tree’s root system.
- Damage roots and trunk with lawn equipment – a little extra care here will save you the expense of removing and replacing a tree that has been damaged.
What You NEED to Do!
- Remove branches that cross and rub – prevents bark wounds.
- Monitor for insects and disease – treat these immediately.
- When pruning, cut on the outside of the bark collar – do not make flush cuts.
- If young tree is staked, remove stakes after one year – prevents damage to the growing tree.
- Water deeply – encourages deep root growth
- When planting dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball – this encourages lateral root growth from the root ball.
Taking the little extra care it takes to make sure your trees are healthy from the time you plant them and through their growth cycle will give you many years of enjoyment of their lush greenery, refreshing shade, and beautiful spring and fall color.
Remember a happy tree is a stress-free tree!