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3 Tree Care Mistakes You Might Make

Overwatering Trees

Mature, beautiful trees can give your home a powerful dose of curb appeal, not to mention cooling shade that takes the strain off of a hot summer's day. Unfortunately, even simple missteps can cause problems when it comes to those arbors. Here are three tree care mistakes you might be making and what you can do to avoid problems down the road. 

1. Overwatering

If tree leaves wilt, you might assume that the problem stems from poor watering. However, many of the symptoms of overwatering mimic conditions caused by underwatering, which is why you should monitor water levels in your yard carefully. 

As a general rule of thumb, trees should receive about 10 gallons of water for every inch thick the diameter of the tree is. Since hoses at medium pressure produce about 10 gallons of water every five minutes, a sapling that has a two-inch thick trunk only needs about 10 minutes of watering every week. If you water more than that, you might overwater.

When a tree receives more water than it needs, moisture can fill the soil around the tree, starving the tree roots of the air pockets in the dirt they need to survive. Drowned roots can cause problems like wilted leaves, yellow or light green foliage, and brittle branches.

If you water your trees by hand, do yourself a favor and time your watering sessions. If you use an automated irrigation system, place a few water gauges around the tree to measure how much moisture falls. Also, pay attention to issues like damp soil around the tree or overgrown grass, which could indicate issues with excessive water.

2. Trimming Grass Too Closely

Most people want their lawns to look seamless, which is why they plant grass right up against their trees. Although this landscaping technique often gives homeowners more places to throw a picnic blanket, allowing grass to grow right up to the edge of your tree's trunk can cause problems when it comes time to cut and trim your grass.

Weed wackers and string trimmers are notorious for killing trees because most trimmers use heavy pieces of nylon string that can slice through tree bark in seconds. While small saplings can be completely obliterated by a single mistaken pass of a weed wacker, even large, mature trees can sustain life-threatening damage; lacerations can introduce pest issues and fungal infections to the base of the tree.

To prevent tree damage, consider digging the grass out around the base of your tree and placing bark mulch or rubber chips in their place. Some homeowners even opt for pre-cast concrete curbing circles around the base of their trees, creating a smooth, professional appearance without demanding additional yard care. Whatever you choose, make sure the base of the tree is protected during lawn mowing and trimming.

3. Improper Pruning

Tree trimming has trends just like anything else, but unfortunately, chopping the top of your trees off to create a box-shaped tree might be the beginning of the end for your mature plant. Topping, which involves removing the top section of the tree for aesthetic purposes, can result in large wounds to the main trunk of the tree and make it exceptionally difficult for your tree to survive.

Other improper pruning methods include removing large amounts of foliage at a time, cutting branches during periods of harsh weather, or using dirty tools when you do the job. To protect your trees, always work with a professional tree trimming company who can remove branches safely and effectively.  

Although keeping your trees healthy and beautiful might seem complicated, the process becomes much easier when you work with us here at Seasoned Tree Care. With a commitment to tree health and to our customers, we can help you take care of any tree issue, big or small. To learn more about our business or to book an appointment for service, give us a call today.