Back to School ... For Your Trees

Back to School ... For Your Trees

New jeans and new shoes - wrinkle and dirt free.

A new backpack filled with pencils, pens and notebooks in vibrant colors - not a doodle or crease in sight.

Greeting a new schedule with anticipation, excitement and a little bit of nervousness.

It's a new school year; time for a fresh start.

To me, back to school is always a time of renewal. The summer winds down. The temperatures cool. Plants slow top growth, store up energies and begin to change color. And my mind is always refreshed and ready for a new schedule at home, a new schedule for my children and a new calendar full of activities, sports and events.

But along with this new schedule comes not only ringing school bells, but also early morning alarm clocks. And paper piles swell as handouts and homework start a continuous stream into the house.

This is why back-to-school time is also a great time to get organized and prepare for a stress-free school year. Families clean house, stock up on new school supplies and sharpen pencils, and empty drawers and closets of outgrown or worn-out clothes and replace them with new collections.

back to school tree - WEB

While families are in planning mode, it's also a good time of year for them to give their landscape trees the back-to-school treatment. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your trees for the fall and winter months.

After School Snack. After a summer of intense heat, trees need a good drink. Trees that lack water are identifiable by scorched or wilted leaves, otherwise known as heat stress. Watering can help replenish this water and cool trees down. If it's too hard to water in the early morning hours before you have to begin a hectic day, why not think about watering your trees right after school? As children are still enjoying the sunshine and eating their after school snacks outside, you can set up your sprinklers and water your trees.

Mulch 101. A great way to help the soil around your trees retain water and provide additional nutrients is to mulch them properly. As Davey expert Shawn Fitzgerald suggests in this video, avoid mulching too high or right up against a tree trunk as this can deprive the tree of much-needed oxygen and cause trunk decay.

Pruning Pointers. While your kids are singing their A, B, Cs, you can practice the three Ds of pruning - trim dead, damaged and diseased branches. Proper pruning improves tree health, safety and appearance, prolonging its useful life. In this short video, Davey Expert and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist Steve Nagy shows you how to prune like the masters.

back to school thumbs up - WEB

Fertilization Education. Just as you refreshed your home, cleaned children's closets and reset your schedule, trees could also use an overall evaluation and nutrient check. This is a great time of year for fertilization to help urban landscape trees receive the nutrients they would normally get from the leaf litter on the forest floor.

Homework. For those of you who have wanted to plant a tree all year but haven't gotten around to it, fall is a great time! Not only can you teach your children how plants grow in the process, but you can also let them get their hands dirty and help plant the tree. Davey Expert and ISA Certified Master Arborist R.J. Laverne provides a series of videos that give step-by-step planting tips.

Follow these simple back-to-school tree care tips and then each year you can watch how your trees - and your children - grow together.

  • The Tree Doctor August 20, 2014 >S. Wooldridge, thank you so much for your comment! We appreciate your response to this blog post.
  • S. Wooldridge August 19, 2014 >I found this very interesting, I learned a lot about trees. Thank You
Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • Root in Moisture

    Planting trees is just half the battle.

    The diseases, pests and power equipment that emerge outdoors in spring, accompanying frequent sunlight, longer days and warmer temperatures, can wreak havoc on your trees if you don't put forth the effort to protect them.

    To keep your trees healthy throughout the growing season and beyond, you must practice routine maintenance and proper tree care. One way to help trees retain moisture, reduce weeds and keep power equipment at a safe distance is through mulch. In the coming weeks, you'll see piles of fresh mulch lined along neighborhood driveways. Soon, the coarse, fragrant matter will settle among flower and tree beds, enhancing the quality of landscapes' appearances.

    Read More
  • Just a Trim, Please

    Put a pair of scissors in your hands, and whether you're cutting coupons or bangs, there's always the potential to oversnip. It's almost too easy to make a mistake as you clip, clip, clip away - removing a little more on this side and a bit more on that side.

    Just like with a bad haircut, there is nothing more noticeable than a poorly pruned plant - pieces sticking out in all directions, a butchered shrub, a tree that looks like the top has been sliced off. The good news is that just as the perfect haircut can frame the face and improve a person's appearance, the same can be said for a professional tree pruning job.

    Pruning is not only a science, but an art form. The science aspect of pruning involves understanding tree biology, recognizing plant flaws and skillfully eliminating or minimizing defects. The artistic aspect of pruning consists of removing dead wood while aesthetically shaping the tree.

    Read More
  • Heat Wave

    Heat wave.

    The term usually makes many people think of the tropics or the desert.

    But extreme heat has hit many areas hard so far this summer. Record highs have been broken in some cities, while others have seen their hottest temperatures since the 1980s.

    Read More
  • Forecast: Hot & Humid

    The air-conditioning is set on high. The fan is blowing in my face. And it feels so good, particularly since my dog and I were just panting within seconds of stepping out to a heavy wall of heat and humidity. His face tilts up to mine, happy for the nice, cool breeze. We face the facts together as I sip from a tall, cool glass of water and he laps up the same out of his bowl: Despite our yearning to enjoy the outdoors, it's hot. And it's hot in nearly every region of the country.

    There's simply no denying it: This summer's a scorcher. While it's difficult to find the motivation to open the door to the heat lingering in the air outside - let alone step out onto a dry, parched lawn - I brave the elements because I notice my trees need some TLC, too.

    It's difficult to imagine another day of 90-plus degree temperatures. So I can hardly imagine how my trees must feel as their roots cling to nothing but the dry soil, day after day.

    Read More
  • Try a Little Tenderness

    When someone moves into a new home, they tend to have a smoother, more successful transition when they plan ahead and carefully move through each step. This includes thoughtfully packing boxes beforehand in an organized fashion, clearly labeling the boxes so movers put them in their proper rooms and then unpacking them so everything that is removed is unwrapped and put into its place to avoid rework.

    If this works for your most delicate China place settings and Lenox crystal, you can see why it would make all the difference when moving something as large, yet just as delicate, as a tree.

    When it's a big, valuable tree that provides numerous benefits to your landscape and your family, a "move" is much more than just picking it up and placing it in its new location. To preserve the numerous benefits trees provide to a community and its residents, which The National Tree Benefits Calculator can help determine, one must plan carefully - before, during and after the big move - to ensure survival.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.