Summer is here with its rising temperature. It is extremely important to have a summer tree care plan to ensure the survival of your tree. Also, care for trees in summer allows you a healthy and beautiful landscape.
Tree care during summer is a little different from other seasons. The trees require your attention to stay healthy during summer. Hence, you must understand the tree’s need during this period.
Do you know trees also get thirsty (dehydrated)? Due to the rising temperature, trees lose much water and may not get adequate water supply from the soil. This is where you’re needed.
Quality care and maintenance will keep your trees healthy and beautiful during summer. We will examine 5 tips that will help maintain the health of your tree throughout summer.
Mulching Is a very important step in maintaining the health of trees. It reduces weed competition, regulates the soil temperature, protects the tree root from temperature extremes and also conserves the soil moisture (water).
Mulch should be spread around the base of the tree. A depth of 3 to 4 inches is adequate and should cover a width of about 5 feet around the tree. The top layer of the mulch should be raked regularly to keep the mulch fresh or replace old mulch with new ones.
Mulch should be made in the form of a doughnut shape for better results. Ensure you avoid placing the mulch against the tree trunk because it can promote pest and disease infestation as well as wood decay.
Shredded hardwood is the commonest mulching material. Avoid using fresh wood chips with high acidity because they can injure young trees.
It is important to water trees during the summer. In summer, trees and other plants are faced with high temperature. And the hotter it is, the more water required by trees and other plants.
To reduce evaporation, the watering of the trees is recommended to be done in the morning. It also prepares the tree to deal with the heat stress throughout the day. However, excessive watering can have a negative impact on the tree. It also leads to clogging and poor aeration of the soil.
Watering should be done 1 to 2 times a week. It should be deep and thorough. Avoid using sprinklers because it wets the topsoil and does not water the tree. You should focus on the root zone when watering the tree. Watering of the foliage is not required because the tree absorbs water through the roots. Wetting the foliage can promote the spread of diseases.
You can check if your tree needs water by dipping a long screwdriver into the soil. If it doesn’t break past 6 inches, you need to water the tree.
Although pruning is recommended to be done during dormancy, a little bit of pruning is needed during summer. Generally, pruning in the summer is done if and only if there is a need for it. It is usually done for corrective purposes such as preventing the spread of damaged or diseased branches or to curtail the growth of the tree.
Dead, diseased or damaged branches can pose danger to the tree, people and property. They should be pruned to ensure your safety as well as that of your family and property. Pruning is also done to maintain the health of the tree.
Pruning opens up the tree canopy which in turn improves the air circulation and reduces water lost due to transpiration (water lost from leaf surface).
Excessive pruning exposes a tree to sun scalding and stress. Tree care experts should be contacted to discern the branches that get pruned or not.
4. Pest Inspection
Your tree should be inspected for pest infestation during the summer. It might look strong and healthy while attracting and harbouring pests.
Warm weathers are optimal for pest growth. Therefore, you need to examine your tree every week. Check out for holes, dripping saps, wounds in the bark and dead or dying branches.
Most insects might not harm your tree. But checking out for pests can be good for trees in your neighborhood. Regular inspection can help identify possible infestation earlier before it escalates.
Examples of common pests during summer include Lace Bugs, Sawflies, Aphids, Japanese beetles and Bagworms.
It is important to seek the service of an arborist in order to identify and cull any pest found around your tree.
5. Soil Care
Finally, soil care is one of the most important care tips for trees during the summer. Most of the common tree problem is as a result of the soil. Therefore, improving the soil quality would help improve tree health.
Soil compaction, lack of nutrient, and acidity are common soil issues that impair the growth of trees. For instance, hard and compact soil has little oxygen and moisture that can be supplied for tree growth. It is important to improve soil composition and structure in order to maintain tree health.
De-compacting and aerating the soil improves the flow of water and air within the soil and to the tree roots. With this, the tree has access to what it needs. Application of manure to the soil increases aeration within the soil.
Soil nutrient is also an important part to watch out for when caring for the soil. Fertilizer application helps to improve the soil nutrition. However, an excessive application can be detrimental to the tree and the environment.