Just as every domestic animal needs care and attention, trees also need to be cared for and given proper attention to for them to live healthy and grow into maturity. When trees are not given good care, they grow up to become hazardous trees which can be threatening to life and property. The first 5 years of a tree’s life represent the critical period in which the tree requires close monitoring and attention. Apart from that, there are some other basic procedures that should be followed annually to ensure that the tree continues to thrive even in maturity.
Water is important in the life cycle of a tree. For a tree to remain green and strong, it must have a good water supply. Young trees (1-3years old) needed to be watered daily so they can survive. At this stage its roots are quite shallow and may not have the ability to look deeply for water in the soil.
When a tree has reached its mature phase (4-5 years and after), it can be given little or no attention because at this stage it has already formed a well developed tap root for it to get enough water from the soil. Although the first 3 years are most critical, a tree’s watering needs should be maintained for life. Mature trees should be watered especially in dry season or when there’s long period of drought.
FERTILIZING A GROWING TREE
The tree fertilization procedure changes as the tree matures. Trees mostly require larger amounts of nitrogen (N) based fertilizers during the growing season. These can be applied during the early spring and in summer months. Applying about .10 and .20 pounds of nitrogen per 120 sq. feet will be enough. Water the fertilizer into the soil so as to prevent any form of burns on the tree’s roots due to the concentrated nature of the fertilizer.
The best time to apply the fertilizer is in the spring. Fertilizing a tree in the fall is quite risky because it will force the plant into taking up metabolic activities during the cold weather. Also, most of the fertilizer will leech down into the soil due to excessive rainfall.
CHECK FOR PESTS
The growth of your tree can be terribly affected once it is attacked by pests or diseases. It is necessary for homeowners to be on the alert to spot any abnormalities developing on their trees. Trees are mostly being invaded by pests during spring, because this is their most active time of the year. There are different pests that are common in different environments. Research and find out some of them and how they can be spotted. Some of them include aphids, gypsy moths and western tent caterpillar.
Pest invasion can be detected from discolored leaves, borer holes, and sudden thinning foliage, among other signs. If branches don’t show consistent growth, there might also be a problem. You can consult an tree professional to come and examine your tree.
Pruning techniques basically involve taking off dead limbs or branches from a growing tree. When this is done, there will be lesser competition among the branches of the tree for the essentials nutrients circulating around it.
Tree pruning is carried out for different purposes which may include:
- For form and function: Prune your tree every year so it can grow in the desired shape you want it to take.
- Disease control: Dead tree limbs should be cut off to avoid the spread of infection to other parts of the tree.
- Pest control: Insects that threaten the life of a tree can be checked by pruning the tree annually.
- When pruning, avoid leaving stubs. Stubs can cause your tree to develop diseases or pest problems. When you prune, make sure you cut the line where the branch collar ends and where the branch begins.
- Prune sprouts growing out of the base of your tree. Sprout are buds which make the tree lose water and nutrients. Use sharp pruning shears to cut off sprout on the tree base.
WHEN IT IS BEST TO PRUNE
Winter pruning: unwanted branches should also be removed in late winter. Pruning should stop at least 5 days before the cold weather.
Summer Pruning: Trees are usually pruned in summer for corrective purposes because the unwanted parts can easily be seen. Pruning for safety reasons or minor pruning may also be done in the summer.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
In taking care of a tree annually, your goal is to notice subtle signs of poor health in a tree in order to intervene. Novice tree owners should seek the help of tree professionals to come examine the tree if there are any doubts. These people are well equipped to easily identify tree problems and go about solving them. They also provide advice on how to protect your tree from any future damage or pest invasion. If you’re in the Mid-Michigan area, contact us at Aerial Tree Services.