Trees are some of the most important aspects of nature and the environment. Trees improve the home ecosystem as they act as source of fresh air. They also add aesthetic value to your home.
To continue enjoying these benefits, you should conduct regular maintenance geared to keeping your trees healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Failure to prune trees can lead to overgrowth, which can pose safety risks to family members or the public.
Let’s look at some of the ways to maintain and take care of trees in your backyard.
- Maintenance Routine During Early Growth Stage
During the early stage of a tree’s growth, that is from the time of planting to two years, it requires frequent care and delicate handling—its eventual blossoming is dependent on this stage.
Some of the recommended care tips are:
- Watering: A young tree needs watering at least three times per week. You can reduce the frequency during the rainy season or winter. You should avoid completely drenching the soil or watering directly at the base of the tree.
- Mulching: Applying mulch improves water retention, checks the growth of weeds, and adds some humus content at the base of the tree. Mulching is recommended when the tree is at a younger stage, that is from the time of planting to three years, because the soil around the base is not compact yet nor is the root network well developed.
- Fence the Tree: If your compound has frequent visits from deer and other wild animals, it’s advisable to fence a young tree. These animals can lead to your tree’s reduced growth or early death. The hedge will deter such animals from preying on it.
2. Tree Removal
As your tree ages, you may need to remove it especially when the growth of its branches become undesirable. It may also die because of diseases, or develop hollow trunks and branches because of pests.
Dead trees pose a threat to public safety because they can fall without notice. Their removal might be needed to restore the safety and aesthetic look of your backyard. You may need an expert to help you remove a tree or its branches safely.
When you engage a professional in this, you can protect your home, your lawn or backyard’s landscape, and other infrastructural lines along the way from an accidental treefall.
As your tree grows, its branches are likely to over-grow or tilt in the wrong direction and shape. Pruning is an important routine maintenance that avoids this. It should be done throughout the year and especially during the spring when conditions for growth are optimum.
Use a sharp pruning shear to avoid blunts that often lead to wounds that can attract pests.
However, trees require the foliage at the early stage of their growth. The foliage is vital in maintaining moisture. So, prune sparingly to control the direction of the branches’ growth.
When your tree is three years old or older, you should conduct pruning every year to remove dead branches and leaves. At this stage, it’s important to set the direction which you would like the tree to assume.
4. Keep Constructions Away
Trees can be damaged easily during construction as it involves heavy machinery or excavations near your home. It’s recommended to keep construction activities 10 ft away from the base of a tree.
Considerable shaking of the soil near the roots leads to the slow death that occurs months or a few years after the construction.
It’s also advisable to locate alternative paths or areas away from trees when laying a driveway, a pavement, or when making a basement.
5. Look Out For Tree Pests And Diseases
Your tree might be affected by pests like bronze birch borer, elm zig-zag sawfly, pine beetle, or diseases like Dutch Elm disease, cedar-apple rust, among others.
Each pest or disease have different signs. However, you can be on the lookout for signs like leaf discoloration, sudden reduction of foliage, and abnormal leaf size.
Remember also to check signs like holes on a tree trunk, reduced growth on branches as compared to previous years, and sometimes lifting of roots. You can control the spread of such diseases and pests by applying pesticides when signs first manifest.
Depending on the extent of the pest or disease attack, the only viable solution could be to remove your tree.
Trees complement the curb appeal of your home or the entire neighborhood. It’s important to conduct routine maintenance to promote longer tree life. Regular pruning is vital in eliminating dead branches, to check undesirable growth, and to control tree growth to a preferred direction.
Old age and diseases might necessitate tree removals, and with this there are experts whose assistance you might need. Make sure that your tree is far from excavations during constructions around the neighborhood to avoid damage.
Lastly, you can use measures such as pesticide application to eliminate pests and diseases at the first instance of symptoms.