Tips To Keep Your Trees Healthy This Summer

Healthy trees lead to a more attractive and safe landscape, since you will have minimal worries of blow-downs and dropped branches. Ensuring your trees begin each summer season in peak health doesn't take a lot of time or effort if you know what to do. The following guide can help.

Make sure there's no dead wood

Dead wood can attract insects, which can then burrow from the dead wood into the living wood where they weaken a tree and sometimes spread disease. Dead wood is also more likely to break off during a storm. Although trimming back of healthy branches is best done in later winter before new growth emerges, dead wood can be cut out of a tree at any time. Cut dead branches back to the collar -- this is the raised bit of woody tissue at the base of the branch. Make the cut flush to the collar but don't cut into it, as this can impede the healing of the pruning scar.

Watch for insect and disease problems

Healthy trees can usually survive a few insect pests in their branches. The real concern is that some insects are vectors for bacterial, fungal, or viral diseases that can prove deadly to a tree. Keep an eye on your trees for possible insect pests. Sticky residue on leaves, increased insect activity on trunks, or obvious signs of insect feeding on foliage can all indicate an infestation that is stressing a tree. As for diseases, severe or rapid die-off of foliage, mildew growth on leaves and twigs, or mushroom growth on the trunk or around the base of the tree are all signs that your tree may need treated by a professional arborist.

Avoid drought stress

Trees planted in lawn or bedding areas that are regularly irrigated aren't likely to suffer from drought stress. The concern is for trees growing in an area, such as a mulched bed, that isn't routinely watered. Mature trees can usually go three to four weeks without rainfall before they need to be watered. Juvenile trees should be watered every 7 to 14 days during dry weather. Watering more often can lead to a shallow root system, which makes a tree more likely to suffer drought stress in the future. On the other hand, trees that don't receive enough water can be weakened, which makes them more prone to disease and insect problems.

For more help, contact an arborist or tree care professional in your area. Companies like Maximum Tree Care can also offer more information.