Do It Yourself Tips

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:

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  • 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.