When you first buy a home, everyone always tells you how important it is to care for the lawn and maintain the interior. What they don't always mention is how to care for your trees. It's true that trees are pretty independent plants and don't require a lot of ongoing care from their owners. However, some care is necessary to keep them healthy, strong, and safe. Here are the basic tree care tips you need to know as a new homeowner.
1. Water them during times of drought.
You can generally get by without watering trees, but if you have a period of drought, you should water them. This will keep them healthier overall so they are better able to avoid disease. To water a tree, you do not just spray the grass around it. Leave a hose a few feet from the trunk, and let it soak the soil for a good hour or more. The water needs to penetrate down a few feet to where the tree's major roots are. Try not to get the trunk itself wet, as this could perpetuate rot.
2. Have dead branches removed ASAP.
When you spot a dead branch on a tree, either remove it yourself or hire a tree care company to do so. Dead branches are permanently dead; they won't come back to life, no matter what you do. They're a hazard to anyone who walks under the tree because they could fall. They could blow off the tree and through a window in a storm. They could also be the starting point of a fungal disease that spreads to the rest of the tree.
3. Have your trees trimmed every few years.
Mature trees do not need annual prunings, but you should have a tree care company give each tree a once-over every few years. They'll remove branches that are crowding others to ensure all the leaves have room to breathe. They'll also shape the tree a little to ensure that it's stable against wind and storms.
4. Clean up leaves regularly.
Cleaning up fallen leaves is as much about your trees as it is about your lawn. Many of the fungi that infect trees replicate in fallen leaves throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Simply sweeping up leaves every week or two in the fall can go a long way in preventing tree diseases.
These are the basics of tree care. You'll have lush, green trees that make the neighbors jealous if you simply follow this advice.