Appease Your Trees: Seven Questions to Ask
Trees can offer beauty, appeal, value and temperature regulation for your home. They can serve as an active play space or a quiet a gathering place. Over time, the trees in your yard can become old friends that welcome new family members and mark family milestones for generations to come.
It is a fallacy that trees can just be left to be. Just like any other living thing, trees need care. Whether you are considering planting some new trees or caring for more mature trees, ask the following questions of your tree specialist to ensure you will enjoy your trees for many years to come. Pruning can prevent many problems, but done improperly, it can weaken an already vulnerable tree. Proper care takes more than just a ladder and a chainsaw.
1. Is it about to fall on my house?
No one wants to face the possibility that a tree needs to be taken down, but allowing a diseased or damaged tree to just be could result in property damage and possible human injury or death. Sometimes, if a tree isn’t too far gone, it can be saved from removal through proper interventions.
2. Does it need fertilizer?
If a tree isn’t flowering as vigorously as it should or doesn’t look full and healthy, it might be a simple matter of giving the tree to fertilizer it needs to thrive. This is especially true for young trees that don’t yet have the root structure to reach out past poor soil for the nutrients they need.
3. How often should it be watered?
While many native trees do just fine without special watering, there may be times and circumstances that require it, such as when a tree is being established, if it is a flowering tree or right before a winter freeze.
4. Is it getting enough sun?
Trees that are too crowded or have to compete with other taller species may not be getting enough sunlight to thrive. As a result, growth will be poor or the tree will put all of its energy to grow toward the sunlight, resulting in a spindly or poorly shaped tree.
5. What is growing on the tree?
Other species, such as a vine or fungus, may take advantage of your tree and grow upon it. Some of these opportunists are harmless, while others can cause damage to the tree or indicate disease. Anything growing on your tree should be identified and the tree treated, as needed.
6. How big will the tree get?
A common mistake many homeowners make is underestimating the growth or a tree, and thereby planting it too close to the house, driveway or other structure; the tree may need to be removed when it matures. Knowing the size and expected growth of a tree can ensure proper landscape planning.
7. Is the tree firmly rooted?
Even a healthy tree can topple over during strong winds, if it is shallow rooted in soft soil. Heavy rains can further weaken roots, which are the anchor for a tree.
Preventative measures can go a long way in tree care. Professional tree care specialists have an arsenal of treatments to apply.