How to Care for Your Trees
Trees are living organisms, and they need care to grow to their full potential. Healthy trees live longer and are more hardy against various environmental assaults. In urban areas, which include city streets and suburban yards, trees experience more environmental challenges than trees in large forested areas.
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.
Take a look at these resources found on our website and other websites for helpful information on how to care for your trees.
Get Started Right
The best ways to ensure a healthy tree is to give it an optimal start:
- How to Plant a Tree: Digging the hole can help your tree thrive. Watch this detailed video on the proper methods from preparing the hole, loosening the root ball, and mulching the right way.
- Water Regularly to Establish: 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.
- Right Tree, Right Place: Pick the right tree for the location. Native trees required less ongoing care and are more beneficial for the local ecosystem.
- Top 50 Atlanta Trees: Need some help picking a tree. take a look at some of our local favorites.
Protect the Root Zone
- Mulch The Tree. 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: When construction or other heavy work is going on near your tree, it’s imperative to protect the tree from damage. This means not only protecting the trunk and overhead branches from impact, it means the roots and areas around the tree is protected. Fence off the area under the drip line of the canopy to prevent soil compaction and damage to the critical root zone. Cutting roots, stacking building materials, covering with hardscapes, or parking and driving over the root zone with vehicles can create stresses, weaken, or kill trees. Damage may not be apparent immediately, but enough damage to the root zone can result in trees that die after the construction is ended.
Prune the Tree
- Proper pruning of trees while they’re young can help form mature canopies that are better in urban spaces.
- Pruning Basics: Come learn how to properly prune your own trees and help prune trees in your neighborhood with Trees Atlanta.
- 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.
Remove Invasive Vines
- 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.
- Top 10 Invasive Plants That Harm Our Urban Forest: Learn how to identify invasive plants.
- How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants: How to Guide
Hire a Tree Professional
- Consult a Certified Arborist if you are concerned or uncertain about tree care issues. We recommend hiring ISA-Certified arborists who are trained and tested for their expertise.
- How to Save a Tree: Trees might need a permit prior to removal, depending on the city or jurisdiction in which you live. Whether you need to remove a tree in your yard or you fear a tree is being illegally removed, check out this resource.
More Reasons to Love Your Trees
- Benefits of Trees: We know you already appreciate the beauty of trees, but did you know that trees provide abundant benefits for people, wildlife, and the local and global environment?
- Check out our News Articles: Trees can mitigate Urban Heat Island effect, provide habitat for wildlife, and on and on. Read more.
- View our Resources: Make sure you search our website for information and services that can help you care for your trees.