Spending long, hot summer afternoons in the shade of your garden is a great way to beat the heat, but spare a thought for your trees. To ensure your trees will provide you with a respite from future summers, it’s worth doing a little tree maintenance.
Unlike delicate shrubs and flowering plants, trees seem to need little attention. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them when tending to your garden.
Use our checklist to make sure you’re giving your trees the attention they need in the warmer months:
Inspect your soil
Compacted soil or soil that lacks nutrients can have serious consequences for trees. It’s not always necessary to have your soil analysed (unless you suspect that it’s causing a serious problem with all the plants in your garden), but it is worth taking a little time to examine the soil around your trees.
The roots of a tree need adequate access to water, air and nutrients. If the soil around your tree is compacted, the roots will not be able to absorb air and water. To remedy this, use a pitchfork to gently loosen the soil around the tree. Take care not to dig too deeply or you’ll risk damaging the roots.
To improve the nutrient content of the soil around your trees, add a ring or organic mulch. As this material decomposes, it will release nutrients back into the soil and helps with moisture retention.
Give your trees the right amount of water
You might be tempted to water your trees more often in hot water, but overwatering can be just as harmful. Before you turn on the tap, check the moisture level of your soil. If it’s soggy, hold off on watering for a day or two. The general rule of thumb is that the soil should be moist—not too dry or too wet.
The best time to water your trees, and other plants, is either early in the morning or late afternoon and early evening. That way, the water has time to soak into the ground before the hot midday sun causes it all to evaporate.
A gentle soak will give the water time to penetrate the soil and reach the roots, so don’t be in a hurry when watering your trees.
Don’t over-prune your trees
While you should remove any dead branches or branches that could cause damage in a storm, hold off on pruning until the winter when trees enter a dormant phase. In summer, trees are usually in full bloom and if you can’t see the structure of the tree, it’s easy to over-prune.
Just as you apply sunscreen, wear wide-brimmed hats and drink lots of fluids to offset the heat of summer, your trees also need some protection against the high temperatures. By ensuring your trees are well hydrated and mulched, you can help them endure the summer and enter winter in good health.
If you’d like an expert to help you care for your trees this summer, and all year long, schedule an appointment with Brands Tree Felling. With decades of experience and all the right equipment, Brands can help you enjoy the shade of your trees for many summers to come.