There are countless ways to improve your trees and shrubs that don’t involve a ladder and a chainsaw. As trees begin to “relax” from the stress of summer, here are some helpful tips for getting out and getting your hands dirty:
Get out and mulch your trees! Adding or re-applying a 2-3” layer of mulch around the base of your trees will pay dividends. Here are the benefits:
It keeps the mower and weed eater away from the base of the tree. Mechanical damage accounts for a considerable portion of stress and mortality for young trees.
It normalizes soil temperatures. Mulch helps keep the spoil profile warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot, which helps extend your tree’s growing season.
It helps retain moisture and feeds the tree. Mulch breaks down and creates the optimal food for your tree to convert into resources used to help grow. It also acts as a natural sponge that helps maintain moisture around the critical root zone.
Beware of the mulch volcano! Do not pile up mulch around the base of the tree. This can cause serious rot and decay that will eventually harm your tree.
Mulch also suppresses competitive weeds.
Do some pruning! Before the leaves, drop dead wood is obvious. Therefore fall is a great time to prune out dead branches and limbs.
Make sure to make proper pruning cuts outside of the branch collar, at appropriate unions. A detailed breakdown of proper pruning will occur in the Winter newsletter, so be ready.
Remember to spray cuts on Oak trees immediately with pruning seal.
If you have to hop on a ladder and cut above your head, DON’T DO IT!
Make sure and use a sharp pair of loppers or pruning shears to make a clean cut. Clean cuts seal over quicker than poor, jagged cuts.