The Ultimate Guide to Tree Maintenance: Tips and Techniques

The Ultimate Guide to Tree Maintenance: Tips and Techniques

The right tree can transform your yard into an idyllic landscape.

Besides their ornamental value, trees help purify the air that we breathe. Extracts from certain species may also serve as home remedies for common ailments.

That said, there are a few things to bear in mind before adding a tree to your backyard or wellness garden. At the very least, you’ll need to have a robust care and maintenance plan in place.

Read below for the ultimate guide to tree maintenance.

1. Pick the Right Trees

The first thing to do, even before drafting a maintenance plan for your trees, is to pick the right species.

A quick online search for tree vendors will reveal numerous places where you can get mature trees for sale. Most of these outlets provide hundreds of different species and cultivars to pick from. The onus is on you to define the specific varieties you want.

Choosing a tree based on its ornamental value. 

Some trees stand out for their colorful blossoms and unique twigs. Others look gorgeous because of their sheer size.

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, insist on the species you find charming instead of acting upon recommendations. However, consult other household members, especially if you’re looking for a houseplant.

The second step is to pick a tree based on its medicinal and culinary value. This makes more sense if you’re scouting for a new addition to your wellness garden.

2. Plant the Trees in the Right Soil

There are three primary soil types, namely clay, loam, and sandy. Different tree species can thrive in any of these soils. But if you’re struggling to choose the best soil, consider loam.

Loam drains water slower than sand, which allows it to retain more nutrients. The soil is also less compact than clay, which aids aeration.

Remember also to check the soil’s pH. Always maintain a pH range prescribed for the specific species you’re cultivating.

3. Water Your Trees

Certain trees, like the papyrus, need to be watered more frequently. Others, such as cacti, can thrive with minimal watering.

The conventional wisdom is to water your trees when the top-inch soil feels dry. Increase watering frequency during the dry season and reduce the same during the wet season.

Another best practice is to water the trees at the roots instead of sprinkling water on their leaves. The latter may cause or spread fungal infections, such as bud rot.




4. Fertilize Your Trees

Like humans, trees require nutrients to grow. The trick is knowing the correct type of nutrients to feed your green companions.

Experts recommend a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 2:1:1 or 3:1:1. N represents nitrogen, P stands for phosphorus, and K symbolizes potassium.

Remember that overfeeding a tree is nearly as harmful as starving it. So, when it comes to applying fertilizer, moderation is key.

5. Keep the Grass Away

Most trees will flourish ideally on grassed lawns once they reach maturity. However, the reality is quite the opposite for seedlings.

Weeding adjacent grass can aid the healthy development of young trees. It reduces the competition for water and mineral salts.

Weeding grass off your tree lawn eliminates critters, including pests and venomous serpents. 

6. Mulch Your Trees

Mulching and weeding often go hand in hand.

Mulching can protect your tender trees from nutrient-guzzling grass while keeping pests at bay. And since mulching involves organic matter, it can also provide your trees with essential nutrients.

The best way to mulch your trees is to lay the mulch around 2 - 4 inches from the ground. Anything higher than this may cause the trunks to develop diseases.




7. Prune Your Trees

Pruning helps your trees to stay healthy by removing dead and diseased branches. It also adds to their aesthetic appeal by eliminating branches that could be growing in an undesired direction.

The best time to prune is right before the new growth cycle begins. This is anywhere from late winter to early spring.

The exact pruning method depends on the tree in question. Just remember to be gentle to avoid harming the healthier branches.

8. Train Your Trees

Training entails directing a tree branch in a desired direction. It’s an alternative to pruning branches that are growing off track.

A tree can be trained to a perimeter wall, free-standing fence, or other larger trees. It all depends on the size and flexibility of its twigs.

Note that almost all trees that require training tend to produce tender twigs. So, the exercise requires extremely gentle hands and softer ropes to prevent undue injuries.

9. Check for Pests

All trees are susceptible to pests and diseases. But while there are numerous ways to treat these conditions, prevention remains the most effective cure.

Take a stroll through your tree lawn every few days to check for signs of disease. Then, prescribe a remedy as soon as possible to prevent the illness from becoming contagious.

And if you must use pesticides, insist on those formulated with non-toxic chemicals.




Final thoughts

Trees are not created equal. While the above tips may effectively boost the health and vitality of your backyard trees, the type and intensity of care come down to specific species. So, be sure to familiarize yourself with a plant’s genetic features before adding it to your garden. 

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