New England summers can be challenging for trees. Heat stress and drought are just two possible threats. Fortunately, with some care, you can ensure your trees stay in tip-top shape all summer. Here are a few tips we recommend to keep your trees healthy this summer:
Trees should be watered in the early morning or evening to reduce the rate at which the water evaporates in the hot summer sun. Aim to moisten the soil a minimum of 6 inches to ensure the water reaches the roots. Moreover, you can use a drip irrigation kit to directly water the tree’s roots for better absorption.
During summers when rainfall is plentiful, a rain gauge can help you monitor how much your trees are already drinking. During excessive rain, modify the watering schedule appropriately to prevent overwatering.
Mulching is vital in maintaining soil temperature stability during scorching summer heat waves. By slowing down water evaporation, soil retains moisture more effectively, ensuring the tree remains adequately hydrated. Since mulching replicates the natural environment of trees found in forests, it is particularly crucial in areas where the soil may lack organic matter.
Mulch also helps suppress weed growth around the tree’s base. Since weeds compete with the tree for nutrients, the tree can better utilize available resources. Additionally, mulch beautifies the yard! It creates a neat and tidy look around the trees, creating a more organized and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.
Even if you haven’t mulched your trees during spring, there’s still time. Simply spread a layer of 2 inches of mulch around the tree’s base. Leave a few inches of space around the trunk to expose the area where the first main roots attach to the trunk. This practice ensures effective mulching while allowing the tree’s base to breathe and maintain its natural root structure.
For many species of trees, we recommend tree pruning during the winter months when trees are dormant. However, certain circumstances call for summer pruning. Examples of such situations include addressing pest or disease infestations and dealing with damaged tree branches.
Some trees, such as spring-flowering varieties, including Rhododendrons, do best when pruned in the early summer after their flowers have faded. They begin to set next year’s blooms quickly after shedding the current year’s flowers, so pruning them right after blossom keeps next year’s buds safe.
Spring is a great time to fertilize trees. However, during the summer, it’s essential to avoid heavy fertilization. Too much fertilization stresses the tree and promotes excessive growth. The weak new growth can be more susceptible to pests and diseases.
Fertilizers need to be watered into the soil to be effective. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid fertilizing trees and shrubs altogether if they are stressed by drought during the summer months. The trees will be unable to absorb and utilize the nutrients.
With these tips, you can keep your trees healthy this summer. However, each tree species is different, so it’s essential to consider the unique needs of each species.
Looking for help with your trees this summer? We are here to help! Contact us today to get started.