The Best Novice Gardener’s Guide To Tree Care
Tree care is a critical aspect of gardening, and it’s essential to understand the basics to ensure the health and longevity of your trees. As a novice gardener, you may be intimidated by the many aspects of tree care, but it’s much simpler than you think. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to take care of your trees with ease and confidence.
Nevertheless, if you’re a novice gardener and want to make sure that trees receive good care, then keep on reading. Here is a compilation of tree care tips you need to keep the trees growing healthy and strong:
Understanding the Basics of Tree Care
The first step in taking care of your trees is understanding the basics of tree care. Trees need proper nutrition, water, light, and space to grow and thrive. It’s also important to understand the specific needs of each tree species, as they vary based on the tree’s size, age, and location.
Pruning is a critical aspect of tree care and should be done regularly to remove dead or diseased branches, maintain the tree’s shape, and promote healthy growth. The time to prune depends on the species of tree and the specific needs of each tree. In general, pruning is best done in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant.
Watering is essential for the health of your trees, but it’s important to avoid over-watering. Over-watering can lead to root rot, which is a serious problem that can kill your trees. The amount of water a tree needs depends on the species, the age of the tree, and the climate in which it’s growing. In general, most trees need about one inch of water per week.
It’s also worth mentioning that, while insufficient water is not good for the trees, excessive water is also bad. One of the common tree care mistakes among novice gardeners is over-watering. Keep in mind, soggy is not the same as moist, and you can gauge this by feel. Also, damp soil that tends to dry for a short time allows enough oxygen to permeate the soil.
To check the soil’s moisture level, you can use a trowel and then insert it into the ground with about two-inch depth and move the trowel’s blade back and forth in order to make a tiny narrow trench and then use your fingers to touch the soil. If it’s moist to the touch, it means the trees have enough water.
Fertilizing is an important aspect of tree care, as it provides the tree with the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. The type of fertilizer you use, and the amount and frequency of application, depending on the species of tree and the specific needs of each tree. It’s important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and to use the right amount to avoid over-fertilizing, which can be harmful to your trees.
But despite this debate, everybody seems to come to an agreement that fertilizers are crucial, particularly after the first growing periods. You will need to use fertilizer yearly, but it’s completely alright to do so later in the season after the trees enter their main winter stage.
Nevertheless, when choosing a fertilizer, you will need to pick the right one that is well-suited to the species of trees you are taking care of. Remember, every tree has a unique need, and a wide variety of fertilizers reflect that.
But if you are having a hard time choosing, the safest decision you can make is to use all-purpose fertilizers or consult professional landscapers.
Protecting Your Trees from Pests and Diseases
Trees are vulnerable to pests and diseases, and it’s important to take steps to protect them. Regularly inspecting your trees for signs of problems, such as discoloration, wilting, or pest activity is an important step in preventing problems before they become serious. If you do notice any problems, it’s important to act quickly to treat the problem before it becomes more severe.
Protect The Roots and Trunks
Both heavy equipment and vehicles shouldn’t be permitted to drive through the root of the trees. These objects will compact soil, kill the roots, and reduce the availability of oxygen. Furthermore, you shouldn’t add or remove soil under tree canopies without the assistance of certified arborists. Changing grades can also weaken the trees and harm roots, which might kill them or make them more prone to damage.
Aside from the roots, you will also need to protect the trunks. Bumping into the tree with a lawnmower whipping its trunks with weed-eaters will damage the trunk and bark. This, in turn, will weaken the structure of the tree while inviting tree diseases and insects. For instance, younger trees are more prone but can be protected using plastic wraps that are usually available at garden centers and nurseries.
Mulching can help trees, especially the younger ones. This process can moderate temperatures, suppress weeds, and retain soil moisture. Mulching can also help in preventing grasses from growing against the trunk directly, which is not good for trees.
For younger trees, you will need to maintain a three-inch layer of mulch around. And during spring, you will need to replenish the mulch. On the other hand, you will need to maintain mulch at least six inches away from the trunk. Remember, mulch heaped against the tree trunk will hold heat and moisture, making a habitat for diseases, insects, and rodents.
Keep Grass Away
Grasses that are developing against the trunk will compete with the tree for nutrients, air, and water. Unfortunately, grasses win the competition most of the time. In particular, young trees grow poorly when the grasses are permitted to thrive right up against the trunk. To ensure that the trees will grow healthy, make sure to maintain a grass-free surrounding.
Hiring a Professional Arborist
If you have any concerns about the health or care of your trees, it’s a good idea to consult a professional arborist. An arborist is a tree care specialist who has the knowledge, training, and experience to provide the best possible care for your trees. They can provide advice and recommendations on tree care, as well as perform a variety of tree care services, such as pruning, fertilizing, and pest control.
Tree care is a critical aspect of gardening, and it’s essential to understand the basics to ensure the health and longevity of your trees. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to take care of your trees with ease and confidence. Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced tree care professional, this guide provides the information you need to provide the best possible care for your trees.