Caring for Your Tree: The Basics of Keeping Trees Healthy

Have you ever wondered why trees are so valuable? Why are so many people worried about reforestation and making such a fuss when rainforests burn? Well, you do not have to be concerned. You can minimise the need for consulting with tree surgeons by taking good care of your trees.

In this article, we have put together the reasons why you should keep up your trees’ health as well as some ways to maintain them, including tree felling and pollarding.

Why You Should Look After Your Trees

There are numerous explanations why trees are important and why we should strive to safeguard them. If you do not agree, we have listed a few explanations that might change your mind:

They regulate the water cycle

The system by which water falls to the ground as rain and evaporates as clouds is known as the water cycle. When rainwater reaches the ground, it is then consumed by trees and other plants before being released into the atmosphere by transpiration.

A single tree can normally release about 250-400 gallons of water back into the air every single day, whenever it can. As a result, trees are critical for maintaining optimal humidity levels in our air. They also keep the water cycle (which provides us with the freshwater we need to survive) regulated.

When it comes to the water cycle, the planet has developed a normal rhythm. Deforestation disrupts this cycle, putting our freshwater sources (which account for just 3% of the planet's total water) in jeopardy.

They are a vital habitat for wildlife

We do not need to justify why forests are important for wildlife, do we?

Forest environments are home to a wide variety of birds, insects, and mammals. These creatures have spent centuries adapting to their surroundings and are fully dependent on them.

Although larger animals (e.g., elephants, lions, gibbons, macaques, sunbirds, or hornbills) may come to mind first, a seemingly simple tree could be home to hundreds or even thousands of smaller creatures. Snakes, frogs, millipedes, ants, termites, spiders, beetles, and moths - all of them depend on the protection of the forest they call home.

It is projected that if deforestation continues at its current pace, about 28,000 different species will become extinct in the next 25 years. Many of them would vanish into thin air, never to be seen again. Don't you think it is the best time to start looking after your trees?

They improve the soil quality

In a variety of ways, trees play a critical role in enhancing the quality of the soil around them. They extract carbon and other noxious substances from the soil as part of their carbon filtering properties, allowing other plants to thrive.

A good quality soil should have a carbon content of no more than 2%. It can be as poor as 0.05 percent in heavily forested areas. In reality, the soil-purifying effect of trees can double crop production on land surrounded by trees. The higher the yield, the less land is needed to feed the world's population.

By shedding their foliage and allowing it to decompose as mulch, trees often add essential minerals to the soil.

Finally, trees improve soil quality by bringing nutrients from deep beneath the ground to the surface through their roots' powerful action. Again, this improves the soil's nutrient content for other plants (including crops). So, protecting our planet's trees allows us to have good quality soil for agriculture and biodiversity.

They prevent soil erosion

Desertification is more likely to happen in areas that have been deforested. Trees provide a natural shield against winds and floods by using their trunks and foliage. This barrier slows the forces of nature, preventing bad weather from escalating into a natural disaster capable of wreaking havoc across large areas.

Tree roots play an important role in keeping the soil together and avoiding erosion. There is nothing to hold the soil in place or slow the pace of incoming winds or monsoons in deforested areas. The loose soil is then free to be swept away by high winds or rain, turning the region into a semi-desert.

They are a food source

Trees can provide a variety of essential foods if they are sustainably produced. It is known that if everybody adopted a vegan diet, people would have more than enough to eat.

We can get enough nutrients only from trees. From nuts to fruits, to a syrup made from flowers and resins, to spices made from aromatic barks, there's something for everyone (cinnamon being one example). Humans benefit greatly from trees as a source of food.

And, yes, the firewood they provide allows us to cook food that we would otherwise be unable to digest. One of the many reasons why trees are so wonderful is that they provide us with so many necessities of life.

They fight climate change

Carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere are one of the factors that influence global warming and climate change. Carbon dioxide is a so-called "greenhouse" gas because of its ability to trap heat. The excessive amounts of carbon dioxide generated by humans are trapping the heat in our atmosphere on a rapidly warming planet.

Photosynthesis is the mechanism by which a tree absorbs carbon dioxide from the air as it grows. It holds carbon in the form of wood and releases oxygen molecules. As a result, forests serve as a giant filter. They absorb greenhouse gases from the environment and only release them back into the atmosphere when they are burned or decomposed.

Deforestation has two consequences: Nature's CO2 filters are not only being discarded, but they are also being burned, adding any carbon they were holding back into the atmosphere.

With proper tree felling by tree surgeons, your tree will reach full maturity. And when it does, it emits less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because it is no longer producing as much fresh wood. Older trees should be carefully harvested as part of responsible forest management to extract the maximum amount of carbon from the air, thus providing a "carbon sink."

In the battle against climate change, trees are critical. We wouldn't be able to survive without the world's trees.

How to Care for Your Trees

If you have a front and backyard full of lush greenery of all shapes and sizes, or only a few simple maple trees in your front yard, it is necessary to provide your greenery with the proper care and attention it requires to stay lush and strong.

With summer in full swing, take some time to protect your property's trees. Use our tree care guide to keep your trees in top shape so that they can continue to offer natural beauty, shade, and fun to your family for generations to come.

Identify their needs

You need to know what kind of trees are growing on your property before you can properly care for them. Do your homework to classify the trees you have, and then look at the following:

⦁ What is your tree's water requirement?
⦁ What kind of soil does it grow in?
⦁ Is your tree prone to wilting due to a lack of water?
⦁ Is there something that your tree is sensitive to, including strong winds?

Prune them properly

It is critical to prune your trees to keep them safe and sturdy. Improper pruning, on the other hand, will damage your plants, causing destabilisation and the spread of disease.

Use our tree pruning tips as a reference if you want to prune your trees properly and keep them safe all season.

When felling your tree, do it right

Tree felling is the process of chopping down a tree to avoid the spread of disease and increase the protection of the surrounding area. Tree felling can be very dangerous if not done correctly; that is why, this form of work must only be done by a tree surgeon who can prepare the task carefully, taking into consideration any possible hazards or risks.

If your tree is less than three years old, avoid unnecessary pruning

For the first few years, you want your tree to have as much leaf space as possible so it can get more nutrients and grow strong roots. So, for the first three years of your tree's life, prune off only dead or broken branches.

When your tree reaches three years, you can begin pruning it once a year

To encourage epicormic growth, prune your tree during the winter. Excessive or unhealthy branches should be pruned from your tree once a year to reduce competition for water and nutrients. Cut back branches that stretch beyond the lines of the form you want as your tree begins to take shape.

Do not leave stubs when making cuts on your tree

Stubs can cause disease or pest problems in your tree. Make your cut lines where the branch collar ends and the branch starts when pruning your tree. The elevated, volcano-shaped part of the branch that connects to the rest of the tree is known as the branch collar. Cuts that are flush with the tree should be avoided. Make your cuts on the outside of the branch collar.

Remove any sprouts that have sprouted from your tree's foundation

Suckers, also known as sprouts, are thin shoots that take water and nutrients from the tree they are growing on. Trim the sprouts as close to the soil or the trunk of your tree as regularly as possible using sharp pruning shears. If the sprouts are too dense to cut with shears, use loppers to clip them off.

Prune branches that are rising inwards toward your tree's trunk

This will keep your tree's branches from overlapping and ruining its form. Cut the branches off just outside the branch collar with pruning shears, loppers, or a hand saw.

Try pollarding

Pollarding is the act of pruning a tree's crown. The crown is the aboveground or topmost portion of the plant, which includes the leaves, roots, and stems. When a crown is lush and dense, it can act as a canopy, providing shade or protection from the sun or even light rain.

When you cut off a tree stem or minor branches two or three metres above ground level, it encourages lateral branches. After the initial cutting, the tree will regrow. Keep in mind, however, that once you begin re-pollarding, it requires regular maintenance by pruning.

Protect their roots

Healthy roots need healthy soil, and healthy roots necessitate healthy trees. To ensure that the soil around your tree is safe enough to support its greenery, make sure it is not compacted; compaction prevents water and oxygen from reaching the tree's roots.

Protect the roots and soil within your tree's vital root region, which is identified by the tree's drip line. Imagine a circle on the ground around your tree that corresponds to where the branches stretch to find the drip line. Be sure not to disturb the soil grade or compact the soil in this critical, sensitive region, as this could harm your tree.

Water effectively

Efficient watering is one of the most essential ways to care for and preserve the greenery in your yard and lawn because water is food for your trees and plants.

Over the summer, you'll want to give your trees a good drink of water every now and then. A once-in-a-while soak is much more successful than a regular misting of water. If your trees have been recently planted, you don't need to water them during the winter.

Use mulch

Mulch is an excellent way to protect your trees from stress while also improving the overall appearance of your house. Mulching, however, should not be performed haphazardly; excessive mulching will damage your tree's roots and do more harm than good.

Mulch can begin about 6 inches from the base of your tree and stretch to the end of the tree's drip line, finishing just underneath the tree's canopy. Apply 1 inch of mulch near the tree's base, then build up to 4 inches (but no more) near the circle's edge.

You will help ensure that your luscious greenery can continue to grow safe and strong all year long by recognizing your trees, understanding their needs, caring for them with the proper irrigation, pruning, and mulching techniques, and preserving their precious roots.

Don’t Have Time to Maintain Your Trees? Consider Getting the Help of Our Tree Surgeons at Climbatize!

Trees are gradually being ignored, from the delicate willow to the mighty oak, the upright pine to the leggy mangrove. But now that you know how beneficial trees are, it should be in your best interest to learn and practice the ways of maintaining them.

At Climbatize, we specialise in offering residential tree services that ensure that your garden is tidy and that your trees are healthy. With our years of experience in tree felling, our tree surgeons can provide you with skilled services to help maintain your greenery. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our tree surgery.