Tree Care Tips

Trees are vital for the ecological system of the planet because they supply most of the oxygen that most air-breathing creatures need. They also provide the habitat for countless species on the planet. Taking care of trees is an important skill for people to learn. Here are some tips for taking care of the trees that you are responsible for.

Selecting trees

Selecting young trees is one of the most important decisions for homeowners. A healthy tree will improve the environment and aesthetics of your property. Large trees can provide shade that decreases your heating costs and provides relief on hot summer days. Choose young trees with roots that flare out evenly, and a trunk that has a gradual taper and width for its height.

Planting

It’s best to plant trees in the fall because the soil temperature and moisture are ideal, and the roots have time to grow and strengthen before the summer. Evaluate the soil quality of a site before planting. Till the soil if it is too compact, and remove layers that prevent proper water drainage under the roots.

Staking

A newly-planted young tree will usually need to be staked. This ensures that the tree will grow straight and it will be protected from wind and animals. If the young tree can stand up straight on its own, staking may not be necessary. If you determine that staking is needed, place two stakes at opposite sides of the tree, and remove the nursery stake. Use a support tie to hold the tree in an upright position. Optionally, enclose the tree and stakes with a chicken wire material to protect from animals or vandalism.

Training young trees

To help your trees develop stronger structure, provide training procedures during the first five years of the tree’s development. Remove broken or dead branches, and help distinguish leading branches and move other ones back. Don’t remove more than 25% of a tree’s canopy in a single year. Find the primary scaffold branches and remove competing branches. Scaffold branches should be spaced about 12 to 15 inches apart vertically.

Pruning

Mature trees should be properly pruned to remove dying or diseased wood and crowding branches. This improves light exposure and air circulation. It also reduces the damage from high winds and susceptibility to disease. A pruning cut should be performed just outside of the branch’s collar. Prune branches before they grow to three inches in diameter. Do not remove more than one-quarter of the tree’s foliage in a year.

Young trees require regular care to thrive. If trees are neglected, they can fail to reach their full height and size. They could also become vulnerable to disease and pests. Learn the essential tips for taking care of your trees, and enjoy the benefits of having big, beautiful trees on your property.