Trees are a beautiful addition to any garden, and with proper tree care they will thrive and give pleasure for generations. Like any other living things, tree care is all about the need to be looked after correctly, fed properly, and for diseases to be diagnosed and treated promptly, in order for them to continue to thrive. Left unchecked, a disease in one tree can not only spread to other similar trees, but also can even infect and destroy a number of other plants and flowers in your garden. Removal of infected or dead trees is unsightly, expensive, and unnecessary, if some basic rules are applied.
Planting A New Tree
Before you go to the considerable trouble and expense of buying and planting a new tree, you should do some homework about tree health care first.
- Establish what kind of tree you want – fruit or blossom, large or small, these factors are essential before you go any further in your planting.
- Make sure you have enough room for your tree’s roots system to grow properly.
- Check the approximate height spread that your tree will reach, you don’t want to get involved in expensive pruning to avoid encroaching on neighbours’ air space.
- Site your tree carefully. It should provide you with some nice shade in sunlight, but not turn your garden into a black hole.
- Do you need any planning permission to add a tree to your property? Always check first, retrospective planning permission is not always granted, and you could be involved in the avoidable expense of having your tree uprooted soon after its arrival.
Maintain A Healthy Tree
- Put plenty of mulch around your tree to prevent the surrounding soil from drying out, and to protect the trunk from lawn mowers and strimmers.
- Put wood chip to a height of around four inches around your tree, but no higher, or the trunk will rot.
- Water your tree, especially if it is newly planted, and during hot summer weather using the correct tree care tools
- Avoid disturbing the roots, which will slowly kill your tree.
Think Before You ‘Top’
Topping a tree is the mistaken practice of removing most of your tree’s upper branches in the belief that it strengthens the tree and makes it safe. Quite the opposite – it leaves the tree open to rot and decay and will shorten its life, and the decay inside the trunk, while not visible outside, will increase the risk of your tree falling without warning. If you are in any doubt, consult a professional tree care specialist, better to pay and be sure than kill your tree with ‘kindness’.
To Prune Or Not To Prune
Although less invasive than topping, pruning is a specialist skill. Pruning procedures vary for different species, including the amount and location of pruning, and the season in which it is carried out. Always ask an tree care expert first, rather than simply lopping of bits here and there which can distress, and eventually kill your tree.
Climbing To Examine A Tree
Apparently simple, especially with fond memories of childhood. Except then, you didn’t know any better! Never climb without proper equipment, ropes, etc., and some climbing experience. If in doubt, get an expert in to check your tree for you.
Provided you choose and site your tree carefully, and make sure you have checked out all the procedures for looking after it correctly, your tree will give hours of enjoyment for you, and hopefully the generations that follow after you.