Good lawn care includes practices that do not put trees at risk. In this blog, learn about some simple ways to protect all of your trees.
Tree health is an important part of any lawn care, but sometimes people fail to realize how much attention their trees really need. Good lawn care includes practices that do not put trees at risk. Here are some simple ways to protect all of your trees.
Yard Tree Care
Never overwater trees. If a tree trunk stays wet for too long, it decays. Water-saturated soil suffocates tree roots and allows root rot and fungi to develop. Signs of overwatering include yellowed leaves, wet soil around the tree, and algae or mushroom growth around the trunk.
Overactive sprinkler systems, inadequate yard drainage, and homeowners with a garden hose can oversaturate the yard around the tree or the base of the tree itself. Mature trees rarely need watering, and an arborist or lawn care professional can create a safe watering schedule for young or newly planted trees.
Damage While Mowing
Trunk damage often happens when people mow or trim their lawns. A small bump to the tree trunk is enough to damage the bark. Cuts and scrapes increase vulnerability because the bark is a protective layer that keeps out bacteria and fungi. The damage is not always easy to see on the outside because many diseases rot from the inside.
Homeowners have a couple of options to protect trees from lawn equipment. Mulch keeps grass and weeds away from the tree, but do not put the mulch directly against the trunk because it can suffocate the tree. Another option is to wrap plastic around the base of the tree while mowing the lawn.
Uncontrolled Grass Growth
Grass growth around a tree is not only a risk during lawn care. The roots of the grass and the tree will compete for nutrients, oxygen, and water. Mulch is the best solution to this problem. Experts recommend that mulch be about 3 inches deep and at least 12 to 18 inches away from the base of the tree.
Not all homeowners like the look of mulch around their trees. An alternative is to plant a shade-tolerant ground cover. A ground cover has less invasive roots than grass and needs fewer nutrients. Hosta is a good choice for a drought-tolerant fern. Use small plants to reduce the amount of soil disturbed around the tree, and add a layer of compost so tilling is unnecessary.
Undernourished Clean Yards
The removal of leaves, sticks, and twigs keeps yards tidy, but it reduces the nutrients received from the decomposing organic matter. Trees show signs when they need nutrients. The leaves are smaller and fewer and may be an unusual color, and the branches die or the tips become bare.
Mature trees do not need annual fertilization, and you should allow the roots of newly planted trees to establish before fertilizing. Test the soil first to prevent the addition of something the tree does not need, and use an herbicide-free fertilizer designed for trees. Fertilize in late fall or early spring just beyond the diameter of the branches to reach the entire root system.
Poorly Aerated Soil
Oxygen and water cannot penetrate compacted soil, so the trees send feeder roots towards the surface. The dense feeder roots compete with grass roots. The trees drop more leaves and the growth of the grass, flowers, and trees suffers. Diseases spread easily on the weakened plants and trees. To avoid these problems, aerate the soil regularly.
At Ross Tree Company, we can help with lawn aeration, ground cover solutions, and all other lawn care services that will make the trees and the grass healthy and strong. Contact us if you see any signs of tree failure or to avoid any future damage.