On average, a tree can live from 50 to 75 years, although some species may live for a few hundred or even a few thousand years. Proper care and maintenance can help extend the life of your trees to keep them healthy and looking their best.
Our Favorite Tips for Keeping Your Trees in Tip-top Shape.
- Consider your environment. Not all trees will thrive in all environments and climates. Do your research on which trees grow the best in your area based on the lighting, temperature, and soil requirements. Local nurseries are also a great source of information when it comes to finding native trees that will thrive.
- Water early and often. As your trees are growing, they need a good amount of water to encourage root growth and establish a solid base. As your tree matures, it will not need to be watered as often, but be sure to give it some extra hydration during periods of drought.
- Understand when to use fertilizer. Most species of trees only need to be fertilized when they’re young so avoid fertilizing your trees every year unless you notice they are looking sick or display signs of stunted growth. These are signs that your tree is not receiving enough nutrients from the soil.
- Prune branches regularly. Pruning is essential to encourage proper and even growth of the branches of your tree, and it can help prevent breakage if certain areas get too heavy. This will encourage your tree to grow stronger and more aesthetically pleasing branches.
- Provide extra support. While trees are young, they often grow very quickly, and they may not be able to fully support new branches. Offer some extra support to these branches using cables or sticks until the tree is strong enough to support the limb on its own.
- Protect roots with mulch. It is very important to keep your tree’s roots safe from drops in temperature, physical intrusions, and animals that may dig them up. An effective tool to protect them is by laying down a layer of mulch around the base of your tree. The mulch will act as an insulator as well as a layer of protection from anything attempting to disrupt your roots.
- Test your soil. If you notice your tree is not looking its best or has stopped growing, this may be caused by a lack of nutrients in the soil. You can test your soil with a soil testing kit from your local garden store and find out exactly what nutrients are lacking. Then use fertilizer to provide your tree with these missing nutrients.
- Watch for and prevent pests or diseases. If you’re doing everything else right but your tree is still looking unhealthy, the culprit may be pests or tree disease. There are many pests out there that can damage and even kill your trees by eating the leaves or branches. Use a pest prevention spray or contact a professional arborist to combat a particularly bad infestation. If you don’t see any signs of pests, your tree may be dealing with a tree disease like powdery mildew or anthracnose. It is best to contact a professional at the first signs of a disease like these so they can evaluate the best course of action.
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