Trees are both useful and beautiful. They provide shelter and shade for smaller plants, animals, and even humans. Some trees also bear fruits that can be a source of food, while others provide people and animals nourishment in different ways (think maple tree). These towering living beings also clean the air, provide privacy, and even enhance a property’s curb appeal. But, when left unchecked, some trees can also become factors that lead to issues like being an inconvenience or posing more serious risks to property. To make sure that the trees in your yard remain beneficial, here are five of the best tips that tree service experts in Chesterfield, Virginia can offer in managing yard trees:
1. Choose your yard trees wisely.
Preventing yard issues lie heavily on the trees present in an area. If you have the luxury of selecting what to plant around your home, take the following factors into account to make sure that the trees you plant fit your property, lifestyle, and needs:
When deciding on a tree for your yard, walk towards the site where you intend to plant it and lookup. Check if there are any power lines and other utility cables overhead or branches from other trees in the vicinity.
If that’s all clear, determine how future tree heights will impact the view of your property. Keep in mind that many shade trees spread canopy over a narrower trunk. In short, it’s much wider up top than down on the ground.
As mentioned earlier, a tree canopy – or the extent of the aboveground portion of any single or group of trees – affects surrounding objects vertically. Apart from that, you also must determine the amount of shade you’ll be getting: Is it dense, dappled, or light?
Think about how it will combine with the canopy of other trees nearby, whether it will conflict with buildings and other structures, and how it can change outdoor space function.
Besides the size and shape of a tree, you also must think about the amount of debris it would drop into your yard. This will have significant implications on the landscape use and the maintenance it will require.
Some trees with fragile and slender branch tips break even with a light wind, while others would drop fruits, seed pods, and nuts all over your yard. Some of these droppings can be sharp or uncomfortable to walk on, which means you need to clear them before they accumulate.
2. Know when to prune.
Are tree branches beginning to reach power lines and the roof of your house? It may be high time for a prune.
One of the most well-known reasons trees need trim is safety. As a tree gets larger and heavier, some branches may crack because of strong winds. Sometimes, they also become weak because of rot or diseases. Either way, it’s time for your tree to get a cut.
But believe it or not, pruning isn’t just for your own benefit – it also helps keep the tree healthy. Tree service professionals in Glen Allen, Virginia explain that pruning trees not only encourages the right structure of these living sources of shade but also:
- Saves them from diseased, dying, or dead branches
- Ensures better exposure to sunlight
- Aids in counterbalancing root loss
- Increases photosynthetic productivity
There’s never a wrong time to cut off diseased, damaged, and dying branches from trees.
However, most species benefit from a trim during the middle to late winter as it encourages new growth as soon as the chill of the season begins to thaw. Plus, there are fewer leaves after autumn, so you can easily see any problematic branches.
3. Mulch around the tree base.
Mulching is a natural method used to control unwanted growth in trees. It also helps keep the soil around it moist, conserving water in the process.
By spreading a wide and even layer of mulch around the tree trunk, you can help insulate the soil around its roots. It also discourages foot traffic and enhances soil quality as it decays.
Some of the best organic mulches are:
- wood chips
- shredded bark
- composted leaves
Once you have your mulch, begin spreading a three- or four-inch layer over the roots. The wider the area covered, the better for your tree. Just make sure it doesn’t pile against the bark as this can cause disease and rot.
4. Water trees when dry.
While most trees have large enough roots to reach sources of moisture underground, it would still appreciate help from you, especially during a dry spell.
Most of the year, mature trees can live off of rainwater. However, several weeks of drought during the growing season can leave large trees stressed. To keep trees healthy during this time, water them slowly.
Set down the hose’s nozzle underneath its branches and set the water flow to a slow trickle. After about 20 minutes, move it a few feet around the tree’s perimeter until you’ve covered the entire root zone.
5. Get your tree inspected regularly.
Like people, trees also show signs of aging over the years. Have it inspected every couple of years or when it is stressed to check for cracks, rot, disease, or dead branches.
Tree stress can be acute or chronic.
Acute stress happens suddenly and leads to almost immediate harm because of situations like drought, wind, flooding, and untimely frost. Meanwhile, chronic stress occurs over time and is often due to improper soil pH, nutritional imbalance, or other time-dependent factors.
Either way, both acute and chronic stress weakens a tree and makes it unsafe for people, homes, and vehicles. By calling tree inspectors, you can check on tree health, and ensure the safety of people and objects living under it.
The Bottom Line
Trees provide countless benefits for your property, but they also require attention and maintenance. Keep in mind the tips listed in this article when selecting and managing the trees in your landscape.