As the summer heat intensifies it puts a lot of stress on our landscapes, including our trees. Young or old, it’s easy to take these strong plants for granted and forget that they are vulnerable to a host of problems. From life-threatening diseases to devouring insects, our trees still need to be taken care of in the summer. At Colonial Lawn and Garden we care about your trees and want to help you make sure they are healthy all year. That’s why we have provided this list of summer tree care tips to help keep your trees around for generations to enjoy.
Trees need water just like every other plant in your landscape. While older trees have enormous reservoirs of stored water to get them through the long dry spells of summer, younger and recently planted trees are much more vulnerable to drought. New trees should be watered at least once every one or two weeks, depending on whether it rains or not. When you water, be sure to water long enough so that the water soaks deep. This summer tree care technique will promote deep root growth and help your trees withstand drought much better.
Nothing makes your trees stand out more than by adding a layer of mulch around their base, but mulch has many more benefits than just the aesthetic.
When it comes to fertilizing trees there are a couple of obstacles you have to overcome: competition from other plants and runoff. Surface fertilizers only work as the rain washes them into the soil and eventually down to the roots of the tree. If your tree has a deep root system, this could take a long time. By the time the grass and other plants take their share or it gets washed away by rainwater, not much fertilizer reaches the tree.
To solve this problem, deep root fertilization was invented. Deep root feeding is the process of using a machine to inject water and nutrients under high pressure directly into the roots of your tree, avoiding other plants and eliminating runoff. This means the tree will benefit from fertilizers much quicker than with traditional fertilization methods.
It’s usually best to prune your trees when they are still dormant but it’s also ok to prune in the summer, especially if it’s for the wellbeing of the tree. Monitor your trees for diseased or pest-riddled branches and prune them away. Remove dead or ugly branches to send water and nutrients to other parts of the tree.
Pests are the number one threat to trees in Washington, making pest control one of the most important parts of summer tree care. Insects are the cause of death for millions of trees across America. Among the worst tree killers are the emerald ash borer and the elm bark beetle, who carry with them deadly diseases that can spread quickly to other trees.
Other types of pests feed on the leaves and wood of your trees causing aesthetic and structural damage over time. If infestations are bad enough you could see the entire defloration of the tree.
Although the damage these insects cause is usually only aesthetic, they can severely weaken your trees, leaving them vulnerable to other tree diseases.
Keep your eyes open and watch for signs of insect activity on your trees. If you suspect your trees could be suffering from a pest infestation or disease then you must act fast. Prune away affected branches and use pesticides such as dormant oil to kill insects living on your trees. Dormant oil is a great way to keep your trees protected and is applied in the spring or fall when insects lay eggs and overwinter.
Seasonal insect and disease control require a lot of work and monitoring. At Colonial Lawn and Garden, we provide comprehensive tree and shrub care programs to restore, revive, and rejuvenate your trees and shrubs.