Maintenance starts early
Young trees require early care and attention in order to best develop its character and enhance your property. Proper watering, mulching and pruning techniques during the crucial first couple years will go along way in helping your tree reach it’s full potential and maturity.
Until it’s roots are capable of tapping available grounwater, young trees require suffient watering from above ground. During long dry weather periods, it is especially important to water young trees deeply and slowly.
Mulch is a young tree’s best friend. A 3 to 10 foot diameter circle of mulch serves several different important functions:
- Keeps weeds away from the tree
- Helps the tree retain moisture
- Insulates the soil around the tree
- Raises soil temperature and minimizes soil compaction
- Prevents lawn mower and trimmer damage around the base of the tree
- Improves the appearance of the tree and yard
It’s important to remove any grass within the mulch area. Mix in wood chips and bark pieces 2-4 inches deep, without touching the tree. Keep the mulch circle less than 6 inches deep.
Pruning throughout a tree’s life
Tree Pruning promotes overall tree health and substantially enhances the appearance of a tree and property. Besides merely improving a tree’s shape, there are a number of reason’s that a tree may need pruning:
- Lower hanging, obstructing branches may need to be removed.
- The tree’s crown may need thinning, to permit new growth.
- Storm-damaged or diseased branches may need to be removed.
- To keep the tree at maximum height, or to reduce the height of the tree..
How Much To Prune?
When pruning a tree, one should begin the job with “less is best” in mind. Dramatic improvements can be made to a tree’s health and appearance with minor and precise pruning made in the right places. A rule of thumb is never prune more than 25% of the crown.
When pruning the branches of a tree, it’s important to follow proper pruning technique to avoid long term damage and decay (see the figure to the right). For younger trees, make a sharp, clean cut, just beyond a lateral bud or other branch. For larger trees, three cuts need to be made to branches or limbs which need to be removed. The first two cuts help the pruned branch “fall” from the tree. The last cut, near the branch collar, is made to help the tree compartmentalize the prune wound. The tree sets up its own zone of protection to inhibit the spread of decay. It’s very important not to cut into or damange the branch collar.
To ensure the long-term health of your investment and because properly pruned trees require less frequent pruning, do consider hiring tree care experts.
Call us for a free Tree Pruning quote: (281) 980-0095
Some things not to do when pruning:
- Do not top trees! One of the worst things you can do for the health of a tree is prune large upright branches between nodes (where branches meet other branches or the tree trunk). Topping often makes ugly, weakly attached limbs grow back even higher than the orginal branches. Topping can also lead to tree decay or disease, as the stubs have a difficult time forming protective callus.
- Avoid tipping, or cutting lateral branches between nodes, to reduce crown width. Like topping, tipping harms trees and can lead to unsightly sprouting and death of some cut branches.
- Never remove more than 25-33% of a tree’s crown.
- Do not cut flush to the tree trunk, rip branches away, or cut off stubs from the tree. These actions can cause decay or prevent proper healing.
Storm or Wind Damage Prevention
Heavy & weak, damaged or dead limbs are the first to go during a storm. If your tree is near your home, this puts your windows, and your safety into serious jeopardy. Dead and weakened limbs should be pruned out of trees annually and thin excess branches out of the crown to reduce the sail affect on the canopy. Strong roots and properly pruned branches helps your tree defend itself against nature’s elements.
Watering, fertilizing and protecting trees from soil compaction keep your tree healthy and growth vigorous. Planting the right tree will help minimize storm damage. Trees that are fast growing are typically brittle and have more tendancy to break.
With regular and proper tree maintenance, you can take important steps to protect your home and property from tree damage during periods of strong winds or storms.