How to Care for Your Trees
What Do Our Trees Need to be Healthy?
Regular maintenance is vital to the long term health of our trees and reduces the risk of falling trees. Healthy trees increase longevity and are more hardy against various environmental assaults.
- Protect the root zone. Proper mulching helps to retain water for the tree and can also signal the area to avoid stepping on. Compacting the soil around the roots is stressful for trees. Take care to create a ring or “donut” of mulch and not a “volcano” touching the trunk.
- During construction, damaging the tree root zone (i.e., cutting roots, covering with hardscapes, driving over with equipment, etc.) can create stresses or damage that weaken or kill trees.
- Proper pruning of trees while they’re young can help form mature canopies that are better in urban spaces.
- Remove invasive vines like English ivy or kudzu. Vines can overwhelm trees and eventually smoother it. In storms, the vines create extra weight and can act as sails adding additional pressure on the trees.
- While staking young trees can help them stand straight, don’t tie down trees too high; trees need to move with the wind to grow a stronger root system. In this way, trees adapt over time to windy conditions by bolstering their root systems.
- In extended periods without rain, trees benefit from being watered deeply. Fill a 5-gallon bucket and water smaller trees weekly if there has been no rain. Larger trees may need more.
- Evaluate and monitor the health of your trees as a part of your regular home maintenance routine. Just as one would repair a broken window, homeowners should care for the ongoing health of trees.
- Consult a Certified Arborist if you are concerned or uncertain about any tree care issue.