There's a heat wave. Well, it is summer. And that means caring for your tree is essential if you don't want it to dehydrate and dry up. When the mercury rises and the sun is shining all day long, you need to know what the proper methods of summer-time tree care are if you want your home's landscaping to look healthy and green. What can you do to care for your trees in the summer months? Check out these tips for making sure that your greenery stays green.
The Tree's Age
Young trees often have different water requirements than older ones. If you're planting a brand-new tree, you'll want to water it right away. For the next 5 to 10 years, you'll also need to keep the water flowing. A young tree grows at a rapid pace. This means it is expending energy. Just like how you need to keep a growing child well-fed, you need to keep a growing try well-watered. When you water your young tree, make sure that you water deeply so that the roots are wet.
Even though older trees don't need as much water as younger ones, they can't go entirely without. Continue to regularly water your middle or older aged tree regularly, especially when it's extremely dry out.
While you do need to provide plenty of water for your tree, you need to find the "just right" balance. Obviously not watering your tree enough can cause problems. But over-watering can also harm your trees. Thirty seconds worth of water from a garden hose (that is a steady stream from a hose with a diffuser nozzle) is typically plenty. The soil around the tree should feel moist, not soaking or muddy.
If the soil is too dry, gradually add more until it feels moist. If the water is ponding or is turning into mud, you've overwatered. While there isn't much you can do about over-watering when you do it, you can keep the amount of water you used in mind and cut it back the next time around.
Not all trees need the same amount of water. Ask the tree service professionals how drought-resistant or moisture-tolerant your picks are. A highly drought-resistant species such as an Arizona Cypress or a White Fir won't need as much water as a moisture-tolerant choice such as a Red maple or a River Birch.
Where to Water
Randomly throwing water near a tree might not cut it. You need a strategic plan to keep your greenery growing, healthy and happy. Concentrate your watering efforts under the tree's canopy. This lets the water soak into the soil and get to the tree’s roots. Pointing your hose up and soaking the leaves or upper branches won't do much to truly help your tree through the heat. That type of watering won't hit the soil and won't make it down to the roots. This leaves your tree at risk for drying out.
Mulch adds that finished look that your yard may need. But adding mulch is much more than a simple decorating trick that landscapers use to make the yard look better. Mulching around a tree can help hold the moisture in and can even lower the soil's temperature underneath it.
Even though mulch can help your tree, especially in the summer, avoid overdoing it. Three to four inches of mulch is plenty. Also, avoid mulching all the way up to the trunk. Watering the soggy mulch that's touching the trunk may cause damage to the tree.