Caring for your Trees this Summer

Caring for your trees during the summer months is just as important as during any other season. This article will look at a few tips and techniques you can use to take care of your trees during the long, hot summer!

Mulching

The best time for mulching trees would be spring time, but you will also be able to successfully mulch your trees in summer and still reap many of the benefits. Mulch keeps your soil temperatures cool by helping to conserve the moisture in the soil, and suppresses the growth of weeds. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t mulch against the trunk of the tree as this can cause the trunk to rot over time. Rather make a donut shaped mulch layer around your trees.

Irrigation

South African summers can get quite hot, so it may be necessary for you to water your trees regularly, especially if the tree is young or newly planted. Trees need, on average, one inch of water per week, and it is much more effective to water a tree less frequently, but you need to make sure that the water reaches deeper into the ground to reach the deep roots of the trees.

Fertilizer

Just like humans, trees need nutrients to support leaf and shoot growth, and to fend off diseases and pests. Trees growing in urban areas or high stress areas will need more fertilizer than trees growing in natural areas

Pruning

Pruning trees is as much an art as it is a science – this is why you should try to leave it up to the professionals. You should try to limit your pruning to the dormant season, but sometimes it is necessary to prune your trees in summer. You should remove any branches or leaves that are diseased, damaged or dead. Flowering trees should only be pruned in the early summer, after they finish blooming.

Tree Pest Inspections

You should always keep an eye on your trees, by examining them frequently throughout the summer to check for pests and diseases. Most insects are not harmful to trees but some can be devastating to the health of a tree. Inspecting your trees regularly will ensure that you catch any potential infestations early, and will prevent the loss of precious, oxygen producing trees.

Storm Damage

Summer rain storms can cause damage to trees and property, and it is important to assess the health and strength of your trees after every heavy storm. You may need to consult a tree care specialist to assess the safety of large trees. You could also brace and/or secure weak limbs with cables, if it is not necessary to completely remove the limb.