Summer is one of the harder seasons on trees. This is especially so in places where temperatures soar and there’s very little rainfall. During these times, rigid tree maintenance is a must! It’s important to keep an eye on your trees for any sign of stress, whether from infestation or lack of watering.
Check the Soil
Soil health is important. Many tree issues are a result of poor soil health. Some soil problems include poor nutrition, soil compaction and soil acidity that poorly suits your trees.
The best soil condition for trees on a landscaped property is soil resembling that of a forest floor. Healthy soil helps protect trees against insects, environmental stress and other issues.
You can have your soil checked by an arborist and get recommendations on how to improve its health. It’s also important to feed your trees with slow-release fertilizer to give them the nutrients they need to fend off pests and difficult weather conditions.
Tree Maintenance – Watering in Hot Weather
Watering trees during drought conditions is even more important than in regular heat conditions. It is generally better to water trees by deeply soaking the soil every week or so versus watering with less water more frequently.
In a temperate climate, most trees will need about one inch of water per 1,000 square feet of root system. During the summer, keep an eye on the weather forecast in your area and base your watering on the rainfall. Too much watering can also be harmful especially if your property has poor drainage.
Keep an Eye Out for Pests
Tree pests tend to be more common in the spring. But there are a few that you might find in the summer. For example, Japanese beetles and bagworms are more likely to be found in the summer. And it’s important keep an eye out for these pests for proper tree maintenance.
Symptoms of bagworm infection include browning leaves or needles, as well as the egg sacks visibly hanging from the trees. These sacks may be mistaken for small cones on conifers. There are various ways to kill bagworms, including applying insecticide spray in the late spring before they hatch.
You also can manually remove the bags on smaller trees. Or attract sparrows to your yard where they will likely prey on the worms. An infestation of Japanese beetles on trees looks a bit like the tree has been burned by fire. They typically begin eating from the top down.
You can use insecticide on Japanese beetles. Some trees affected by these beetles include red and silver maples, white poplar, white and green ash, many types of oak trees, dogwood, pear trees and many more.
Fruit Tree Tips
If you have young fruit trees, there are a few extra tree maintenance steps you may need to take during the summer to keep them healthy. Young fruit trees are very susceptible to sunburn as the canopy of leaves has not grown large enough to shade the bark.
A common technique to protect these trees is to use white interior latex paint that is thinned with water. Apply a thin layer to the exposed trunk. It’s also important to prune any unwanted growth from fruit trees upon heading into summer.