Caring for trees in summer in this hot Gauteng climate can be tricky, and some trees may be taking a little strain. With these tips, your trees will feel loved and flourish as we enjoy the last few months of the summer of 2020:
- Inspect your trees regularly
Summer is abundant with life of all kinds including insects. With the PSHB infestation at an all time high in summer, it is imperative that you regularly inspect your trees for signs of stress and infestations. Call a specialist if you are not sure. It is imperative that you take action immediately should you see any signs of an infestation in the trunk and branches of your trees.
- Prune/Trim any dead or unsafe branches
We do not suggest you prune unnecessarily during summer, as trees bounce back easier from pruning if they are trimmed during the dormant phase (winter), however, if there are any branches that are dead, dying, infested or pose a threat to safety, it is imperative that you take action.
- Check for drought stress and water your trees regularly
The water needs to reach deep into the soil, where the roots of the trees are growing, so make sure that you water the soil around the tree well, so that the soil can reach deep into the ground. This is generally referred to as deep root watering. Other signs of drought stress could be wilted leaves, a sparse, off colour canopy, premature autumn colouration, yellowing and leaf drop or scorch. You can improve all these symptoms with a good, old fashioned watering.
We cannot stress this more – mulch is amazing – and you can use it in the soil around your trees to prevent evaporation of valuable water. It keeps the soil and roots of the trees cool and it adds nourishing minerals to the soil that trees and plants need to grow healthy and strong. Your trees will love you for it!
- Consider some storm preparation
The highveld is famous for our thunderous, majestic afternoon showers, often accompanied by lightning, strong winds and hail. Should any of your trees be struck by lightning, it is best to call a professional to help you with the assessment of the tree and to make recommendations.