Summer Tree Care Tips
During summer, plants and trees use a lot of energy to grow leaves and flowers, expand their roots, and store energy for winter. As a tree owner, it’s important to know what your trees need to thrive. In addition to sunscreen, barbeques, a hammock, and a good book, consider our tips for keeping your trees healthy and strong throughout the summer and beyond. Winter will be here before you know it!
Top Up That Layer of Mulch
Did you know that the mulch you used to protect your trees from freezing temperatures in the winter can also help keep the soil cool during summer?
To prevent tree roots from getting too much heat and moderate the temperature of the soil, it is recommended that you replenish the mulch around your trees’ dripline.
To maintain the quality of your soil, it’s important to regulate the depth of your organic mulch made from wood chips since it will decompose over time. Although it’s fine to use crushed or rounded rock as mulch, it’s important to note that rocks absorb and retain heat from the sun, which can overheat the soil and harm sensitive feeder-root systems. If you decide to use rock as mulch, ensure it covers hardy plants or trees or areas that aren’t exposed to direct sunlight.
You can enhance the effectiveness of the mulch by adding a layer of compost beneath it. Remember the compost you applied during fall and winter? It has now decomposed and improved the quality of soil, but adding more would be even better. The advantage of using compost as a soil amendment is that it doesn’t provide an immediate burst of nutrients like synthetic fertilizers do, and it isn’t easily washed away by irrigation.
You can continue using mild synthetic fertilizers on plants that produce abundant flowers or fruit. However, it’s important to keep in mind that using compost can enhance your soil’s texture and fertility in the long run while allowing it to retain more water for the tree roots to absorb.
Watch Out for Heat Stress
To protect your trees from heat damage in the short and long term, it’s important to provide them with adequate defense against the hot summer weather.
The following symptoms may occur due to heat stress:
- Brown and dry edges or tips of leaves
- Yellow leaves that are wilting
- Immature fruit and flowers dropping, especially
- Branch, twig, and leaf drop
BE WATER WISE
During hot weather, it is important to ensure that your trees and shrubs are adequately hydrated because their health is closely linked to their water intake, just like us humans. Give them a long and cool drink to make them happy!
When the weather is hot, trees absorb water more quickly which can worsen water stress. If a tree is experiencing water stress, the leaves may look like they are suffering from heat stress, but with additional signs such as scorch marks on the edges of wilted leaves. If the water stress becomes too severe, trees and plants may not recover. This is known as permanent wilting point, where the roots can’t absorb any water, causing the cells of branches and leaves to become damaged and die. Even if you water the tree after this point, it will not help.
To ensure that your trees can handle the summer heat, make sure to follow these steps:
- Water your trees regularly and properly. Trees require less frequent but longer watering compared to shrubs, perennials, and turf.
- Check your irrigation system and make sure it’s set to a summer schedule that conserves water. Additionally, check for leaks or breaks that can waste water and prevent it from reaching your trees.
- Avoid applying high-nitrogen fertilizer to trees that are stressed from heat or lack of water. Such fertilizers promote new leaf growth, which stressed trees can’t support.
Give New Trees Some TLC
It’s important to take extra precautions with new or young trees, especially during their first hot summer. Unlike established trees with deep roots, young trees have small root systems that don’t extend far beyond their rootball. This makes them vulnerable to stress when temperatures increase and soil moisture decreases.
Give Trees a Light Haircut
Pruning trees during winter is advantageous because the trees and their corresponding insect pests and diseases are dormant. Nonetheless, one can also do some light pruning during summer if necessary.
You might need to do some light summer pruning for the following reasons:
- To limit pests and diseases by allowing sunlight and air to penetrate the interior of a tree’s crown
- To boost fruit yields by concentrating the tree’s energy on fruit production instead of leaf growth
- To eliminate excessive, new summer growth and get rid of branches that are rubbing against each other or crossing over.
Get With The (Pruning) Plan
To ensure that your trees have long and healthy lives, it is important to have them regularly pruned by a professional. Pruning is a long-term project because the needs of the trees change as they mature and grow. Over-pruning or infrequent pruning can cause damage to the trees and result in additional costs, so consistent pruning is the best approach.
We customize our pruning services to meet your specific requirements. As certified arborists, we are insured, and we provide estimates at no cost.
It is recommended to avoid pruning trees during summer if they are suffering from heat stress or water stress. You should wait until the trees have adequate water and the temperature has cooled down before you prune them.
Keep it Clean
Regular maintenance plays a significant role in ensuring the health and appearance of your trees and yard. During summer, it is advisable to engage in good garden practices such as treating pests and diseases immediately upon detection, eliminating weeds that consume soil nutrients, and using mulch to naturally suppress weed growth. Additionally, removing debris is critical in getting rid of areas where pests and fungus can thrive.
Although we all enjoy being outside during summer, some insect pests do too, except on extremely hot or humid days. Additionally, the warm climate can contribute to the rapid spread of various harmful plant diseases.
Don’t Get Bitten
Mosquitoes and ticks are more than just pesky, they can transmit harmful diseases. This can make it less enjoyable to be outdoors, especially during months when you and your family want to spend time outside.
To prevent tick and mosquito infestations, remember to regularly check for ticks after being outside, get rid of any stagnant water around your property, and follow recommended prevention measures.
To keep your family safe from ticks and mosquitoes, you can opt for our highly-targeted control program. We offer both synthetic and organic options, including a customizable hybrid plan, as part of our comprehensive mosquito and tick control program.
Check for Signs
During the summer, make sure to inspect your trees frequently for indications of insect infestation or disease. As trimming flowering shrubs and perennials is a regular task during summer, don’t forget to check your trees. By addressing any tree issues early on, you can guarantee better results.
Some symptoms to watch out for are:
- Leaves with holes or ragged edges
- Yellowing or premature dropping of leaves
- Leaves with spots, stippling, or blotches
- Dead branches
- Branches or trunks that are oozing or dripping
- Leaves with brown or crispy edges, or curled leaves
If you observe any irregularities, please contact us. Our Certified Arborists will check your trees, identify the issue and suggest a solution.
Recognize Invasive Pests
Please keep an eye out for dangerous pests in our area, in addition to the typical insects you might see in your garden.
NEED A HAND?
If you’re in West New York or in the Rochester area and need tree services, then please contact us any time! We can help with all things tree and are just a phone call away. Also check out our recent article for fall tree care tips.