How to Maintain and Care for Your Trees
Whether you have a front and backyard full of lush greenery of all shapes and sizes, or just a few simple maple trees in your front yard, it’s important to give your greenery the proper care and attention it deserves to keep it growing lush and strong.
With summertime in full swing, take some time to protect the trees on your property – use our tree maintenance guide to help keep your trees in tip top shape, so that they can provide natural beauty, shade, and enjoyment for your family for generations to come.
Know Their Needs
Before you can properly care for them, you must know what type of trees are growing on your property. Do the proper research to identify the trees you are dealing with, and then investigate the following points:
- How much water does your tree need?
- What type of soil is best for its roots?
- Is your tree susceptible to drought?
- Does your tree have any sensitivities, such as high winds?
If you are having trouble identifying the trees growing on your property, refer to the Government of Ontario’s Tree Atlas to find out.
Prune Them Properly
Pruning your trees is vital to keeping them healthy and strong. Improper pruning, however, can actually damage your greenery, leading to destabilization and spread of disease.
You’ll want to prune your trees properly to keep them healthy all season long, using our tree pruning tips as a guide. Watch for the signs of bad pruning, which include:
- A tree that is top- or bottom-heavy
- Cuts that are jagged
- A tree that is excessively leaning to one side
- A tree that is being blocked from the sunlight by another tree
Protect Their Roots
Healthy trees need healthy roots, and healthy roots need healthy soil. In order to make sure the soil around your tree is healthy enough to sustain its greenery, you’ll want to be sure that the soil is not compacted – soil compaction prevents water and oxygen from infiltrating to the tree’s roots.
Be sure to protect the roots and soil within the critical root zone of your tree – this is defined by the tree’s drip line. To find the drip line, imagine a circle on the ground around your tree that corresponds to where the branches extend. Be sure not to change the soil grade or compact the soil that sits within this important, sensitive area, as this may actually damage your tree.
Water is food for your trees and plants – that’s why effective watering is one of the most important ways to care and maintain for the greenery on your yard and lawn.
Throughout the summer months, you’ll want to make sure that you water your trees deeply every so often. An occasional soak is much more effective than a frequent misting of water.
During the winter, your trees generally do not need to be watered, unless they have been recently planted.
Mulch is a great way to protect your trees from stress, while adding curb appeal to overall property. Mulching should not be done haphazardly however – improper mulching can damage your trees roots and lead to more harm than good.
You’ll want to start your mulch about 6 inches from the base of your tree, extending it all the way to the end of the tree’s drip line, ending just beneath the end of the tree’s canopy. Use 1 inch of mulch towards the base of the tree, then build up to 4 inches (but no more) towards the end of the circle.
By identifying your trees and knowing their needs, caring for them with the right watering, pruning, and mulching techniques, and protecting their precious roots, you can help make sure that your luscious greenery will continue to grow healthy and strong all year long.