Wood-boring insects are a few of the most destructive pests that can ever get near your trees and plants. Unknown to most people, tree damage can already occur right under their noses from insects and mites. When this happens, the problem could have become widespread that it's already too late before you treat them. That's because various insects can cause extensive issues that are very difficult to identify.
All trees are vulnerable to pests and diseases that can cause them to fall ill or even die. Like any other health issue, identifying the problem beforehand gives you the best chances to treat your tree and restore its health. Here are a few signs that can help you know if pests are infesting your tree to help you with it.
Telltale signs of pest infestation
Various insects have unique chewing patterns and chew on different parts of the leaves. For example, beetles tend to eat the middle part of the leaves and leave only their veins. So, it's best to check your tree from time to time and call an expert immediately to help identify your problem's root cause if you see any.
These are only a few of the things you need to consider when protecting your tree from harmful insects. Diagnosing insect infestation on trees is not a simple feat. That's why it's best to leave it to the best tree care experts to diagnose your problem correctly. Doing so will help you know the root cause of the problem and even potentially save your tree.
Maple trees are deciduous trees commonly found in North America. You can also see its leaf on the Canadian flag. These trees are well-known for their unique leaf arrangement and fall color. Their flowers are also upright and often appear red, green, or yellow, depending on their variety.
There are at least 125 maple tree species, and each tree varies in size. But all share the same techniques needed for them to grow. To know more about it, here are a couple of tips to help you care for your maple tree.
Maple tree basic caring tips:
Before you start planting, it's best to dig a hole at least three feet below the ground. Doing so will help the threes to spread at least four feet across the soil. Maple trees have quite strong roots that can lift fences and pavings. So, ensure that you keep your tree away from such obstacles.
Pruning too early will cause excessive sap loss. So, if you're planning to prune your maple tree, it's best to do it during late spring or summer, just as when the tree has fully leafed. It would help if You also started pruning dead, weakened, or diseased branches first to prevent accidents.
When watering your plants, ensure that the water reaches at least 10 inches underneath the surface to hydrate the tree's rooting system properly. It will be best to consider adding mulch and put it around the base to conserve water and maintain the soil temperature.
When adding fertilizer, it's best not to put it in a drought-stressed tree as chemical fertilizer tends to draw the water out of its roots. Also, it's highly advisable to use fertilizers that release less nitrogen to prevent excessive upper canopy growth. It's also best not to put any fertilizer in late fall or winter since trees will go into dormancy during this time.
Any plant can grow anywhere, as long as there is soil. That's why it's essential to learn how to manage your soil correctly to keep your trees safe and thriving.
Fertilizer can be pretty expensive, not to mention time-consuming to apply, too. So, it's only practical to use all your available resources to help maintain your soil.
So, no matter if you're into herb gardening or wants to take care of your lawn, keeping healthy soil is essential. To help you with it, here are a couple of pointers that you can consider.
Effective ways to maintain soil
Start managing your soil today
Your backyard requires more than tree pruning. The soil deserves some well-deserved attention, too. So, try your best to test the soil to know its composition. Learn how to manage it well so that all the plants in your yard will thrive along with it. By following these tips, you'll soon experience a considerable improvement in your soil's quality.
Natural calamities such as snow, hail, and high-velocity winds can put everything in its path at risk, especially trees. Even more, cleaning up after the storm can even be a bewildering experience. Fortunately, there are times when you can still treat some injured trees and repair them to maintain their health.
In most cases, damages with a tree are only minor, with just a few of its smallest branches get injured. So, there is barely any damage done to the tree. All you need to do is clean up and some light tree pruning to bring back its shape.
However, severe tree damage is a different story. Severe damage often consists of large broken branches and splintering of the trunk. When this happens, most owners would like to know if the tree is still salvageable. That's why you need to take some time and effort to see if there's still a portion of the tree that remains in good condition.
Ensure your safety
When a tree gets heavily damaged, it often gets tangled with down utility lines, making it hazardous to handle them single handedly. So, always treat all lines as if they're still alive. Let your electrical provider know about it so that they can assess the situation. If the area is safe, the first step you need to take is to eliminate the trees or debris that fall on your home or block your access. It would be best to look out for any hanging limbs that could potentially drop on your house.
How to treat a tree
Assuming that the tree is still salvageable, the next step that you need to take is to consider your skills to repair the tree. Unless you have enough experience using particular tools, you need to leave the professional task.
Once they have already assessed the tree, the next step they need to take is to check the extent of the damage. Next, the tree experts will check which branches need to remove where they should do the removal cut. Once they've established the location, they'll remove all the damaged branches at the closes lateral branch to them. It can also be the main stem or the bud, as long as it's not in the middle of a branch.
Treating the wounds
Once the pruning is complete, they will coat the wound with a dressing or any pruning paint. Although these products won't help increase the healing rate, they'll prevent the affected part from drying out.
Properly caring for a tree
Caring for a tree takes a lot of time and effort. So, it's only best to let the tree experts handle the situation to increase the chances of saving it. To reduce tree damage in the future, you always need to think ahead when planning. It's best to avoid trees that are prone to damage or breakage. Also, regularly prune any weakened limbs or thin excess branches to prevent them from falling out. Doing so will help you save the tree from further damage in the future.
Spring is the time when fresh green growth is at its peak. But you may have also noticed the excessive growth of your backyard tree that you might want to cut. Generally, the best time to prune most trees is during winter, when most of them are leafless. But there are times when you have to make exceptions. So, let's dive into spring tree pruning and what you need to know about it.
Spring pruning tips for beginners
Generally, pruning in Spring can limit the potential of the tree to bloom for the entire year. Also, trimming in Spring often leaves cuts on trees, making them susceptible to disease or insect infestation.
One of the best ways to start pruning plants is to remove the diseased or damaged stems. These diseased parts of the plants often attract insects and may even cause diseases to develop. You also need to remove the water sprouts, crossing branches, and vigorous shoots that grow near the ground.
Remember that your goal for spring pruning is to keep your tree and your home safe and trimming a few branches to maintain its shape.
Trees that are suitable for spring pruning
If you've planted a new tree, you need to cut off any defective or broken limbs. It's also possible to prune walnut, birch trees, and maple, especially during late Spring or early summer. That's because they tend to ooze sap during winter. And although they pose barely any harm, pruning them can get a bit messy.
A few other trees you can prune include an apricot tree, crabapple tree, and lilac trees. You can also prune dogwood trees and flowering cherry trees.
Meanwhile, plants like rhododendron, lilac, and forsythia typically produce flowers on wood. So, the best time to prune them is during late Spring, just after they ultimately bloomed. Doing it later during the winter will only cause the flower buds to get removed, which decreases the amount of spring bloom.
The trees that you should never attempt to prune in Spring
Not all trees can survive pruning during Spring. Remember that pruning trees can leave them highly susceptible to diseases and insect infestation. So, it's only proper that you know which trees can tolerate pruning.
A few of the trees include oak trees and elm trees. It's also best to leave sycamore trees and honey locust trees on their own until after Spring to prevent them from becoming vulnerable to pests and diseases. Not pruning oak trees can help reduce the chances of oak wilt if it's in your area.
Pruning is a gardener's talent
Pruning is a vital gardening skill. When you prune your trees correctly, you encourage healthy growth while making your trees look presentable. Although most people highly recommend doing it during winter, some trees thrive well when pruned during Spring. So, it's best to reach out to tree pruning experts to know how to do it right. Doing so ensures that your trees will appear more presentable while keeping them healthy at the same time.
Soil amendments are any material used to improve soil aggregation. It also ensures that the ground remains porous and permeable. Thus, increasing aeration and proper drainage. It also extends the tree's rooting depth, providing the trees with a better environment to grow.
To ensure that it'll work, you need to mix the amendment into the soil thoroughly. Neglecting to do it will only cause your amendment to be less effective. Even more, it'll only hinder the water and air from passing through.
Amending the soil is entirely different from mulching, too. Although most materials used for mulches also pass for amendments, the process of mulching only leaves the material on the ground's surface. Also, its primary purpose is to help prevent evaporation and weed growth.
Soil amendments have two primary categories. These are organic and inorganic. You can resource organic amendments from materials that came from a living organism. Meanwhile, inorganic amendments are either artificial or mined. Organic amendments come in various forms. One of them is wood ash, which contains high levels of salt and pH. Using organic amendments helps boost soil organic matter content. Also, don't attempt to add clay soil into the mix, or else you'll end up with a concrete-like soil structure.
Using raw manure could potentially increase the risk of crop contamination from foodborne illness pathogens. According to Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, it's best to apply it at least 90 days before harvesting your crops. Also, ensure that the fertilizer doesn't touch the soil. Meanwhile, those parts that come in contact with the ground have to get harvested after 120 days of contact. Aside from using raw manure on your field, it's also essential to consider the manure that may get in your field through wildlife animal intrusion or runoff.
Another option that you can consider as a soil amendment is composting. The process of composting animal manure effectively decreases the growth of microbial pathogens. Thus, saving your fruits and vegetables from contamination. You need to ensure that you maintain the compost's temperature between 131 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 64 hours if you're using an enclosed system or 15 days if you're using a windrow system. As the materials continue to compose, you need to ensure that you mix the composting material at least five times. Once it's complete, you can then wait for it to cure for 45 days. Once it's done, you should cover the compost pile to prevent recontamination.
Keep a record of everything
These are only a few of the things you need to think about when learning about soil amendments. Same with any other tree service, it’s always essential to create a recordkeeping document to ensure that all soil amendment applicators get adequately documented.
The documentation should include the soil amendment type you used, date of application, and quantity applied per acre. These are crucial, even when you're planting a tree next to your edible garden. Doing so ensures that your tree will have ample root growth so that it can thrive.
Pruning trees is essential in promoting plant health. It also removes any damaged branches and encourages growth. But what draws people to learn how to prune trees is how it gives shapes to various trees and shrubs.
Proper pruning is part art and part science. But once you know the basic logic behind it, you can soon trust your eye for understanding the artistic elements that come with pruning trees. So, here are a few tips to finally help you start making the cuts.
Pruning a tree limb
When you're trying to thin, reduce, or even shape the tree branches and their limbs, you need to ensure that your cuts will support new plant growth. It would help if you cut the limbs a quarter inch above a bud that faces the tree's exterior. Also, keep the cuts at exactly 45- degree angles to protect the tree from water damage or even diseases.
The best time to prune a tree
The best times to start pruning your trees are during late fall and early winter, especially when the trees have already shed their leaves. The bare branches will let you see the structure of the tree much clearer.
However, you need to avoid pruning your tree from January through early March since beetles are active during these times, infecting oak trees. Also, don't attempt to prune your oaks if oak wilt is present in your region.
Watch out for any diseased or dead branches and prune them whenever you notice them.
Waiting until fall and winter to prune these parts could only cause the tree to get even more damaged. Even worse, an infection can spread from the diseased branches, causing the tree to die eventually.
Cutting large branches
Dealing with large branches is a considerable undertaking. Fortunately, you can get them removed in three steps:
Treating tree wounds
There's no need to apply a seal over broken branches or pruning cuts. All you need to do is let it heal and allow the wound to breathe. Although using dressings can sometimes prevent callus tissue growth, it can trap the air moisture in the pruned area. Thus, causing it to rot.
The importance of tree care
These are the only some of the things that you need to learn about tree pruning. Pruning does more than make your trees look presentable. It helps protect you from possible accidents, and even promotes healthy tree growth, too. So, don't hesitate to ask any of the tree experts near your area to know more about pruning. You might even be surprised at all the information you'll learn about taking care of your tree properly.