Caring for Mature Trees
Are you lucky enough to have large mature trees in your landscape? Losing large beloved trees can not only break your heart, but also put a big dent in your property value and electricity bill. Keeping large mature trees strong and healthy requires some extra effort on your part, but the benefits are worth it!
Aerate the Soil
Compacted soil can kill your tree’s important feeder roots that take up oxygen and nutrients. Our heavy clay soils coupled with foot traffic and heavy rainfall can spell trouble for your large trees. When compacted soil suffocates your tree’s root system, it can starve your trees, leading to defoliation, nutrient deficiencies, fallen limbs, and increased issues with pests and diseases.
Soil aeration is an excellent way to remedy compacted soils. When aerating the root zone of your trees, we remove plugs of soil & replace them with porous mixture of pea gravel, dried molasses, perlite, worm castings, lava sand and compost. This helps water to penetrate to the roots & fosters an environment for beneficial organisms to live.
Mind the Bark
Hanging large swings or landscape lighting from large trees can cause severe damage. Any time you puncture the bark or cause wounds by ropes or cables rubbing the tree, you allow openings for disease, pests, and decay. If you must attach electrical or lighting fixtures, know they will need to be moved as the tree grows. Otherwise, they will cut into the tree bark. We too often see tree wounds that have tried to grow around electrical cables.
Cabling and bracing
Large trees near your home may have branches that require cabling and bracing. Often, this is the only way to save important large branches, or make sure they don’t become a safety threat. When trees develop co-dominant trunks, they are also more likely to split apart during extreme weather. Cabling and bracing limits movement during storms, which reduces the risk of splitting, breakage or rubbing.
Don’t forget to water
Even though your mature trees seem self-sufficient, they still need supplemental watering during periods of drought when we don’t receive soaking rains. Our Texas summers are very hot and tough on even the healthiest of large trees. Our weather can often turn quickly from a wet spring to a very hot and dry summer. It’s common to forget we need to increase our landscape watering when the heat returns.
Remember: drought can even occur in the winter! We suggest a monthly deep watering using soaker hoses or bubbler and drip nozzles set specifically for trees – lawn irrigation simply isn’t enough when it isn’t raining.
Annual health check-up
To keep your trees healthy, it’s important to pay attention to any changes. Get to know the signs and symptoms of pests and diseases that affect our area. Take note of any changes to your tree – is it suddenly leaning or do you notice dead branches? If so, call in an arborist. It’s best to have your large mature trees inspected annually by a certified arborist to catch problems before they get out of control.
If you are a SEASONS tree customer, an annual arborist inspection is included.
Feed Your Trees
Urban life puts a lot of stress on our trees and they need to feed! Properly feeding the soil and fertilizing trees will help them betting ward off pests and diseases - as well as improve their structural integrity..
Our SEASONS bio-fertilization program enhances soil health by using root zone injections of liquid compost that contains mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial bacteria and other essential microorganisms necessary for healthy soil. By building a healthy soil, your trees are better able to take up water and important nutrients.
In short: take care of your mature trees. Nothing can take the place of the shade they provide, the air they clean, the utility bills they decrease, and the homes they provide for wildlife.
Posted: September 17, 2019