During the summer season, your trees should be at their best. Full of life and leaves, healthy trees in the summer make an entire landscape feel vibrant and pleasant.
Helping Trees Thrive During the Summer
Even strong, mature trees need a bit of tending to in the summertime. Follow this simple five-step plan for summertime tree care to help your trees beat the heat this summer.
1) Watering Your Trees
The most important thing you’ll provide for your trees in summer is, of course, water. Watering is most important for trees that are young or recently planted. However, if your area is experiencing drought, it’s smart to water all of your trees. It might seem more convenient to provide small amounts of water on a regular basis. However, it’s better to water deeply, but less frequently. Giving your tree a larger amount of water on a less frequent basis helps it to develop a strong, deep root system.
Not sure if your trees need water or not? Check for leaves that are wilting or turning shades of yellow or brown. You can also check the soil around five inches below the surface–the soil should be slightly moist – not too dry and not too wet.
2) Mulching Your Trees
Mid-spring is an ideal time to first apply a layer of mulch to landscaping trees. However, if you didn’t get around to it in the spring, there’s nothing wrong with mulching during summer. You might also want to replenish your mulch layer if many of the chips have been lost to weather or yard activity.
Mulch provides several benefits for trees:
- Helps the soil hold moisture
- Keeps soil warm in winter and cool in summer
- Prevents soil runoff and erosion
To mulch a tree, first remove any weeds from the area you’ll be treating. Then add a mulch layer that extends 2-3 feet from the trunk, with a maximum depth of 2-3 inches.
Don’t build a “mulch volcano”, which can kill a tree by soaking the trunk bark. Mulch doesn’t need to be piled super high, and shouldn’t touch the bark at all. Leave a non-mulched buffer of a few inches around the trunk, creating a donut ring of mulch that circles the tree. Read more: 6 Do’s and Dont’s of Mulching Your Trees.
3) Pruning Your Trees
Tree pruning is the removal of branches that are loose, diseased, or dead. Those old branches are dead weight, throwing off the tree’s structure and draining its resources. Clearing them away helps a tree to flourish.
Pruning is most often appropriate during the late fall and winter. During cold weather, trees are less vulnerable to insects, so it’s less risky to remove limbs. A tree pruned in fall or winter has time to heal and be ready for a healthy spring bloom.
While summer shouldn’t be your go-to season for pruning, a bit of maintenance pruning is advisable if needed. It’s always best to remove damaged branches, rather than let them linger.
4) Inspecting Your Trees for Diseases and Pests
A variety of fungal ailments can affect landscaping trees. Beetles and other insects sometimes carry diseases like anthracnose, cedar rusts, and oak wilt, spreading them from tree to tree.
There’s no need to watch for any specific diseases unless you know that one is spreading rapidly through your area. Just check your trees for obvious signs of trouble, such as bare patches, dead branches, or visible pests.
If you aren’t confident in your ability to inspect your trees, an arborist or other tree care professional should be brought in to help.
5) Storm-Proofing Your Trees
Summer storms bring heavy rains and strong winds. Summer thunderstorms are often among the most intense weather events of the year.
When mature trees are hit with violent weather, they can lose large limbs. Sometimes an entire tree can go down. Falling branches and trees can result in significant property damage.
To address potential tree hazards, consult a landscaper or arborist for a tree inspection. Tree care professionals can check on the strength of your trees and their large limbs. Removing or cabling weak limbs can help stormproof your trees and protect your property.
DIY vs Professional Tree Care
Caring for trees can be easy if you have a yard full of mature, thriving trees. On the other hand, if you’re raising young trees or dealing with a pest infestation, it can be overwhelming.
If DIY tree care isn’t how you want to spend your summer, bring in a professional crew of tree experts. Professional tree care is an excellent investment towards creating a beautiful property that’s full of life. Contact us at Treescape for all your summertime tree care needs. We will be happy to help and advise you to make the best of your landscape.