Trees are an attractive asset to just about any property. Learning the basics of tree care will give you the tools you need to make sure they look their best. Read on to find out how to keep your trees healthy and strong.
Selecting and Planting
Research different species of trees before purchasing seedlings. Make sure the ones you choose are well-suited to the local climate, appropriate for your soil conditions, and meet your preferences for height and appearance. Choose a planting site that will allow ample room for the roots to spread over time. Depending on the type of tree, you might be able to accelerate the growth of it - for example, fruit trees could really benefit from worm castings.
Water and Mulch
Just like smaller plants, trees need fuel to grow and thrive. Seedlings should be watered daily. Adult trees should be watered every few days, with more frequent watering in hot weather. To protect the root system, spread a layer of mulch about 3" thick around the base of the tree. This will help prevent weed growth and insulate the tree from harsh temperatures.
Prune Your Trees Regularly
It is best to prune trees between late fall and early spring. The absence of leaves (on deciduous trees) will give you a good look at the tree's underlying shape, and completing the work over the winter will ensure it does not restrict budding in the spring. Cut unwanted branches to the branch collar or to a bud. Do not remove more than one-quarter of the tree's crown. Tree trimming is essential to do right, so you may wish to call in a professional, especially if the tree in question is very tall or is located close to power lines or buildings.
Know How to Identify Common Pests
Unfortunately, some species of tree can be vulnerable to infestation by insects or disease. Familiarize yourself with typical problems for your selected tree species, as well as which pests are native to your area. Watch your tree vigilantly for indicators like wilting, yellowing of leaves, or mold on leaves. Tree pests can be difficult to eradicate. You may wish to consult a professional arborist to ensure the problem is correctly identified and treated.
Proper research and simple garden maintenance will go a long way towards keeping your trees healthy and vibrant. Remember, trees require a significant investment of time and are vital to a property's curb appeal. If the situation calls for it, professional services are well worth it to protect your investment.