A large tree shade in your yard is a treasure that should be preserved and valued. Old mature trees can reduce utility bills by shading your house and blocking strong winds. Trees can also increase your home’s value by 10%. They clean the air around your home and absorb noise from outside. The trees in our yards are our kid’s playground and the touchstones of our family memories, and they are beautiful, too.
As your tree grows bigger, so does the tree’s benefits. That makes mature trees need more attention and care. Here are a few tips for taking care of your green treasure.
Put an even, wide layer of mulch around the trunk of the tree. It will help insulate the soil around its roots, improve the soil as the mulch decays, keep away power tools, and discourage foot traffic. Use mulch made out of shredded wood and wood chips, and spread it three or five inches deep all around the tree – the wider, the better. Ensure that the mulch is evenly distributed, and not lying against the tree’s bark to prevent rotting and disease.
Protect the bark.
Keep all power tools such as string trimmers and lawn mowers from striking the tree and damaging the bark. As stated earlier, when you use mulch, it’s an excellent way to create a buffer zone. It’s essential to protect the bark because it covers the tree’s water vessels and growing tissues. When the bark is damaged, it will expose the tissues, and the tree may dry up and die.
Stay off its roots.
When too much soil is packed around a tree’s roots, it prevents the tree from absorbing the air and water it needs. Avoid compacting the soil by flattening it around the tree. This is commonly caused by too much foot traffic. Discourage a lot of foot traffic around the area where the roots are, remove any equipment, and don’t pile heavy loads on the roots. Cars, too, shouldn’t be parked too close to the roots.
Water the tree when it’s dry.
Most of the trees live off rainfall, but when the weather gets dry for a few weeks, even old trees need water. Water your tree slowly, so the roots have time to absorb the water. Turn on the water hose with a slow trickle, and lay the nozzle on the ground beneath the tree. After every few minutes, move the hose a few feet to ensure you’ve distributed water throughout the tree’s root area. If the tree is far from using a hose, a few buckets of water sprinkled around the root area will suffice.
Get a professional inspection.
As your tree ages, it may develop rot, disease, cracks, or heavy dead branches. Have it inspected by certified professionals who will spot any problems early, and recommend pruning or other measures to ensure the tree’s lifetime is prolonged.
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