While proper tree care is important for the growth and nurturing of new, young plantings, it is equally imperative to care for the adult trees on your property. Mature or adult trees often stand out, becoming the identifying characteristic of our yards. For many of us, they signify home. They also add value to your property and act as sun and wind barriers (especially shade trees). Below are some pointers to ensure that your mature trees maintain their livelihood.
Inspecting your mature trees for diseases, insects and environmental problems at least once a year is crucial. Many city websites, including that of Medina, Minnesota, post common tree diseases in the area which can simplify your inspection process. To determine the health of your trees, you should track: new leaves or budding, leaf size, twig growth and crown dieback. If there is a stunt in new leaves or budding, leaf size or twig growth, further attention may be needed. Tree disease can also be indicated by trunk decay, crown dieback, loose bark or deformed growths. Be sure to log your inspections over several years to ensure a solid comparison.
Although adult trees can often withstand dry, sun-soaked conditions better than young trees, it is still essential that they maintain their moisture. On a hot, sunny day, a mature tree can lose over 200 gallons of water. In the absence of heavy rain, a monthly deep watering of about eight hours, depending on the type of tree, is recommended.
Pruning not only rids your trees of dangerous limbs, but it also helps your trees grow at a healthy rate. Mature trees often have high branches that require pruning with the use of a ladder or lift. If this is the case for your trees, or if your pruning requires a chain or hand saw, be sure to call a certified arborist, such as Ostvig Tree Care. They have the knowledge and experience to complete the pruning safely and efficiently. Once the pruning has been completed, make sure the tree is watered and fertilized to assist in the healing process.
Mulch helps your trees absorb and maintain moisture and nutrients. Be sure to spread mulch 2-4 inches deep, above the root system. Remember that with a mature tree the root system may reach beyond that of the tree’s branches. It is important to keep the root system area cooler and more moisturized than the rest of your soil, as this is how the tree receives its nutrients
Fertilization is essential for providing nutrients that aren’t otherwise available in your soil. Be sure to test the soil nutrient content to see if you need fertilizer. Healthy mature trees may not need fertilizer as they are already most likely receiving essential nutrients. If you find that your trees aren’t receiving the proper nutrients, spread fertilizer during the fall or early spring.