Trees are beloved additions to your landscape.
You nurture them and watch them grow. And then they give you lovely canopies for shade and amazing autumn glory. They can even help cut your energy bills by blocking harsh winds.
As trees grow bigger, you might think they are strong enough to withstand anything. They look majestic and unwavering. But just like your younger or smaller trees, your big trees also require some care and attention to stay healthy and keep providing you with cool areas, noise buffering and color.
Let’s look at some important aspects of mature tree care so you can make sure your older trees can continue to stand strong for years to come.
Give Young Trees A Great Start
Obviously, one of the best ways to kick off mature tree care is to take care of trees when they’re young so they get the healthiest start.
This means planting the right tree in the right place. Ideally, you want to match the right species to the right spot that can accommodate its future growth and conditions requirements (e.g. sun versus shade, etc.). When installing the tree, you want to avoid planting it too deep, which can create root rot and other issues.
Next, proper watering is key. New trees will need 4 to 10 gallons of water weekly during their first and second growing seasons, while mature trees will require 1 inch of water weekly.
Mulching your tree with 2 to 4 inches of shredded hardwood mulch helps keep soil moist and keeps your tree trunk safe from mower or trimmer accidents.
Proper slow-release tree fertilization from the start ensures your tree gets the nutrients it needs as it grows, since the soil doesn't always have these key nutrients readily available due to home building and soil compaction.
Finally, proper tree pruning throughout a tree’s life can help remove deadwood and tidy up or clear any damaged twigs ensuring the tree focuses its energy on its healthy growth.
Inherited A Mature Tree On Your Property
If you purchased a home with big trees on the property, likely those trees were some of the key reasons you bought the house. They added to the home’s value and boosted its appearance and appeal.
This situation, though, takes some proactive mature tree care to ensure you don’t miss any big issues and can ensure you have healthy, durable trees versus ones that have hazardous branches or lack stability.
Follow these steps to create a good environment that minimizes stress for your trees:
- Monitor trees frequently for signs of decay or pests and diseases. You’re looking for stress signals like yellowing, spotted or wilted foliage; holes or cracks in bark; and other signs of a less-than-healthy tree.
- Regularly and properly prune trees. Follow these tips to learn pruning techniques and tips.
- Cable and brace large branches as necessary to ensure their safety.
- Minimize soil compaction around your tree; proper mulching can help.
- Fertilize your tree if the soil is deficient in nutrients, in addition to proper watering.
A certified arborist can offer free tree inspections if you see any signs of stress, as well as offer services – from fertilization to dormant pruning – that can ensure your largest trees get the best mature tree care possible.