How to Maintain a Tree
- Conserves moisture
- Reduces turf grass, weed competition
- Protects from lawnmower, trimmer damage
- Apply over root system out to drip line (branch tips)
- Apply 3-4 inch depth, mulch should not touch trunk of tree
- Bark chips, ground bark, pine needles, compost are best.
- Mulch too deep - water does not reach root system
- Volcano mulching (mulch piled up against tree trunk) - traps moisture against trunk, encourages fungal activity,results in decay of wood and insect activity, encourages shallow rooting
- Single most important task
- Watering timetable depends on rainfall received
- Moisture holding capacity of soil
- Drainage characteristics of site
- General rule - 1 inch every 7 to 10 days during first growing season
- Inspect once a week to determine if watering is necessary
- Inspect more often during hot, dry weather
- Deep, infrequent watering is best
- Water slowly and lightly
- Over watering - suffocates root system
- Rapid, frequent watering - encourages shallow rooting
- Hard, fast watering - causes soil compaction, runoff, water does not reach root system
- Frequent trunk wetting - encourages fungal activity, decay
- Not recommended at time of planting
- Research has shown it to be ineffective until tree has re-established its root system
- Naturally occurring in native forest soils
- Beneficial fungi that help tree roots absorb water and nutrients
- Research has shown to have limited benefits
- May be beneficial in poor quality sub-soil where topsoil, organic layers have been removed
- Limit at planting time to removing broken, crossing, rubbing branches, alleviating structure problem
- Remove basal sprouts
- Encourage a central leader
- Leave lower branches on the tree to stimulate root and trunk diameter growth
- Do not thin the tree to compensate for root loss
- Do not raise lower limbs, these will help add girth to trunk and root growth
- Pruning paints and sealers do not prevent decay or promote rapid closure, not recommended
- Pruning Flush cutting branch back to trunk is incorrect, it wounds the trunk and causes decay.
- Make the cut along branch collar.
- Only when necessary, bare root, small container, large tree especially conifers, exposed or windy site
- Attached to tree low on trunk
- Use soft flexible web belting or other soft, wide, flexible material
- Staking or guying
- Used to prevent movement of root system-- movement of top of tree is desirable and will strengthen tree
- Should be checked regularly to prevent girdling and removed after one year
- Do not drive stake into root ball, anchor firmly outside of planting hole
- Using wire or thin rope around trunk – will damage, tear bark and girdle trunk if left on too long
- Staking left on too long – result in weak tree unable to support itself
- Short tubing may be used to protect from string trimmers
- Trunk wraps are not recommended
- Recent research shows Temperature differentials are greater at bark with wrap Holds moisture on bark leading to fungal, insect activity
Just the Beginning
- All trees planted will need care and attention throughout their life span.
- Future ongoing maintenance should be a part of your tree planting plans.
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