(Part 2) The Life Cycle of Trees and How to Care for them at Each Phase

This week we explore the more mature stages in the life cycle of trees.

  • Adult/Mature

As soon as a tree starts to produce fruit and flowers, it is no longer classified as a sapling and this is the time of it’s life in which it is most productive. The length of this phase depends on the species of the tree.

In this stage of the life cycle, caring for the tree changes. It is a good idea to regularly inspect your trees for diseases, pests and branches that may pose a danger to you or the tree’s health.

During dry periods, it is still important to deep water your tree. Although the tree is now able to withstand longer periods without water, it is still a good idea to deep water the tree at least once a month. You will also need to prune regularly. If you are not sure how or where to prune, we suggest calling a professional tree care specialist.

Be sure to mulch regularly, but be more cautious with fertilizer as a healthy tree is most likely able to draw essential nutrients from the ground. Test the soil first to avoid harming the tree with too many chemicals.

  • Ancient Tree

An ancient tree is not usually identified as Ancient by it’s age, but rather by it’s characteristics since the life span of a tree depends on the species. The characteristics will be, for example, a tree with a small canopy and a hollow trunk.

Once again, we suggest regular tree inspections to check for disease, pests and the need for pruning.

Keep in mind that the tree is not as supple and strong as it used to be in its youth, so be aware that you could seriously damage your ancient tree by drilling into the tree or hanging items from it, like tyre swings, etc.

  • Decaying Tree (Snag)

This is the final stage of a tree’s life cycle and includes trees that are decaying as well as dead trees that are still standing. The tree itself will no longer grow, but the usefulness of its trunk to the environment around it has not yet diminished. The dead wood can now provide homes for wildlife and insects and can also be a source of food for them.

A snag does not require a lot of care as the tree is essentially dead or dying.