Summer is almost upon us once again and the temperature will be rising soon. For many of us, this is welcome as it means vacations, swimsuits, and other fun outdoor activities. It also means, however, that you will have to start thinking about hot weather care for your trees.
Different tree species require different levels of care, but no matter what trees you have you should take some steps to care for them. Tree care can often be a lot of work, but if you follow the advice of your arborist and take a few of the steps recommended in this article, your trees should do just fine this summer.
Prune your trees
Pruning is the first step you can take to ensure your trees stay healthy all summer long. Dead and diseased branches can leech valuable water away from healthy parts of the tree; during the summer when there’s much less rain, this can be very detrimental to the overall health of the tree. Not only this, but dead and dried out branches can become a fire hazard if they are left unchecked.
Removing any dead branches will encourage the tree to continue growing, providing your family with a healthy source of shade this summer. For this reason, regular pruning should be done for most trees. While it is possible to prune a tree yourself, you risk harming the tree if it is done incorrectly. Cuts placed in the wrong areas can become inviting to pests, such as insects and fungi. In most cases, if it is possible to do so, you should secure the services of a certified professional arborist, like us at Mr. Tree, who can advise you on a schedule and can do the work for you as well.
Water if necessary
In most cases, you don’t actually need to water your tree, even if it’s a dry summer. Trees are very well adapted to survive when water becomes scarce and watering them if they don’t require it is wasteful at best and harmful at worst. There are exceptions, however.
In drought conditions, when the tree is receiving less water than it naturally would during summer, you may need to use a garden hose to give your tree a little bit of extra water. If you have a particularly young tree, it may also benefit from being watered regularly. In this case, it’s best to check with your arborist for the best advice on tree care.
Overwatering a tree can be very harmful and it’s best to be prepared depending on what tree species you have. Always keep an eye on the conditions; check weather reports and place a rain gauge somewhere outside on your property. If trees look like they’re wilting or losing leaves, this could be due to dehydration and may require more water.
Check for pests
Most pests that harm trees are dormant in the winter, but awaken during the summer and can cause a great deal of harm to an unprepared tree. Pests can be a number of different things; insects can invade weakened branches or burrow through wood, while fungi can grow in improperly pruned areas or other wounds on the tree. Bacterial infections are also a risk that trees face.
Once the weather starts to warm up, you will want to check your tree regularly for signs of pest invasion. Look at the leaves, both top and bottom, and note if they’ve changed colors. Yellowed leaves are often a sign of disease in a tree; black spots on the bottom of the leaves can be indicative of fungal growth. These fungi can prevent the tree from transporting water throughout its vascular system and this can be very problematic, especially during the summer.
Holes throughout the bark of the tree and a material resembling sawdust surrounding the tree can indicate an infestation of termites or carpenter ants. If a pest invasion is allowed to go unchecked, it is certainly capable of killing the tree. Most pests can be kept under control if the infestation is caught early enough. Check with your arborist for a recommendation on treatments that can keep fungi, bacteria, and insects away.
Protect your tree from storms
Summer thunderstorms can do quite a number on the trees on your property. Falling trees or tree branches can damage other property and pose a risk to your family and friends. It’s important that you ensure your tree is properly prepared for any thunderstorms that may occur. Branches that are too large should be removed. If removing them is not viable, they can also be braced or held up with cables that will prevent them from falling and injuring anyone. Your local arborist can assist you in protecting your trees from storms and other unexpected weather conditions.
To stay as healthy as possible, your tree will need plenty of vital nutrients, which may not be easily found in nature. Depending on the tree species and its other needs, you may need to get fertilizer and apply it around the base of the tree.
Some trees also do well with mulching. If you are going to mulch your tree, make sure you don’t pack the mulch all the way up to the base of the tree. This can prevent the soil from breathing and harm the tree. Leave a few inches uncovered around the base so that the tree can breathe properly.
Tree care requires regular inspection and maintenance and a careful consideration of your tree’s individual needs. Always consult with an arborist for the best results in tree care. Arborists are professional tree surgeons who can prune your tree, check for pests, and take any other steps necessary to care for your tree.
Just as people need regular checkups at the doctor, pets need visits to the vet, and cars need trips to the mechanic, you should have an arborist regularly checking on your tree. We are the best option in the Portland area and will help keep your trees healthy and vibrant for many summers to come.