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Properly caring for your trees throughout the summer months results in a happy, healthy landscape. Whether it’s tree trimming, pest inspections, or watering trees, summer is the perfect time to follow these six tree care tips.
If you didn’t get to mulch your trees this spring, it’s not too late. Mulching trees is an important step because it cuts down on weed competition, stabilizes soil temperatures, and helps conserve soil moisture. Mulch trees with three to four inches of shredded hardwood mulch. The proper method of mulching trees is to form a donut shape around the base of the tree; do not mound mulch against the trunk as it promotes disease and insect issues.
During the hot, dry weather of summer, watering trees may be necessary, especially if your trees are young or newly planted. Trees need an average of one inch of water per week. When watering trees, deeper, less-frequent applications of water promote better root growth than shallow, more-frequent irrigation.
Another step in caring for summer trees is making sure they have ample nutrition to support leaf and shoot growth, and fend off pests and diseases. Trees growing in high-stress areas, such as urban or suburban environments, often have greater fertilization needs than trees growing in natural areas.
Tree pruning is as much art as it is science. While the majority of tree trimming should occur during the dormant season, there are a few times when summer tree pruning is necessary. First, anytime there are diseased, dead, or damaged branches present, they should be pruned out for both the health of the tree and safety reasons. Second, trees that flower in the spring are best pruned in the early summer, as soon as they finish blooming. This list includes magnolias, flowering cherries, and lilacs. And remember, large trees are best pruned by professionals.
5. Tree pest inspections:
Examine trees for pest infestations on a regular basis throughout the summer. While the vast majority of insects are not harmful to trees, discovering any potential tree pest problems early gives you a leg up on controlling them. Pests such as magnolia scale, bagworms, Japanese beetles, aphids, and spider mites are active during the summer months. These tree pests can be identified with help from your local cooperative extension service as well as certified arborists.
6. Storm damage prevention:
Summer is the season for thunderstorms and heavy winds. To protect your property from falling tree limbs, consult with an arborist to assess the safety of your large trees. Cabling or bracing trees with weak limbs, or removing weak limbs completely, may be necessary.
Use these six summer tree care tips to keep your trees healthy and growing strong.