When summer’s hot days arrive, who isn’t glad for the shade of trees? We find relief from summer scorchers—and protection from UV rays—underneath their leaves. It’s the time of year we spread picnic blankets under their branches or seek out the leafy route for runs and bike
Summer can bring harsh conditions for trees, though. From high temperatures and periods of drought to sudden storms, summer can be a season of extremes. That’s why it’s important to give your trees the right care to help them thrive during this season.
To help, we’ve created a summer tree care checklist to keep your trees healthy this season.
Summer tree pruning
Most deciduous trees should be pruned in the dormant season, but routine pruning can be done at any time all year. In fact, it should be—diseased or damaged branches can pose a danger to people and property, and even the tree itself.
Summer pruning is ideal for removing dead branches, or high-risk limbs—those that could be broken off during a summer storm, for example. Summer is also the season for some gentle shaping and trimming for aesthetics, as you can see shrubs and trees in full leaf or flower. Gentle is the operative word here: minor cuts and trims are fine now but hold off on any more major pruning until dormancy unless your goal is to reduce growth this season.
There are also certain trees you should not prune in the summer. These include elms and oaks, as open pruning wounds can make them vulnerable to certain diseases. Oaks can be susceptible to oak wilt, which can be fatal. Elms can succumb to Dutch elm disease. It’s a good idea to consult a certified arborist before any necessary safety pruning of elms and oaks, as well as whenever you’re unsure whether summer pruning is a good idea.
Inspect your trees and shrubs
Summer is a good time of year to assess the overall health of your trees and shrubs. You can do this as they come into full leaf and grow during the early weeks of the season. Look for signs of insect infestation, fungus, blight, or dead branches. And, if you notice something that seems off, be sure to call a certified arborist or professional tree care company. Sometimes, catching infestation or disease early gives you the best chance of saving your tree or shrub.
Fertilize your trees and shrubs
Fertilizing your trees and shrubs adds nutrients and minerals for growth that might be missing from your soil. Trees need more nitrogen-based fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer), so this is an ideal time to ensure your trees have what they need to thrive.
Mulch your trees
Mulch keeps weeds in check and helps trees and other plants retain moisture during hot, dry spells. Include trees in your seasonal mulching. Spread mulch three to five feet in diameter around the tree but leave two inches of space between the mulch and the base of the tree. The
mulch should not touch the tree itself.
Water your trees
Extended periods without rain can stress your trees. Protect them by making up for any lack of rain. Low, slow watering is best, so a sprinkler set on low or a hose set to a low flow for an extended time is best. Also, keep an eye on the weather: hard rains aren’t as good as gentle,
soaking rains for ensuring trees and plants have enough moisture. Check soil regularly and water when dry.
Protect your trees from severe weather
Summer can bring damaging storms, including high winds, torrential rain, and hail. Cabling or bracing branches or portions of your tree can help protect them from damage or disaster during this time. Consult a professional tree care company for more information on how to
identify potential weaknesses in advance of severe weather.
Overview: Summer Tree Care Checklist
To sum it all up, here’s how to take care of your trees this summer:
- Prune: do routine pruning, and be sure to consult a certified arborist with any questions
- Inspect: look for signs of insect infestation, fungus, blight, or dead branches
- Fertilize: in early spring and summer to replenish soil nutrients and minerals
- Mulch: 3-5 feet in diameter around the tree but not touching the tree itself
- Water: regularly, especially to make up for lack of rainfall
- Protect: brace or cable to protect from severe weather
Want to keep your trees healthy this summer? Advanced Tree Care can help. Advanced Tree Care combines top-notch equipment, cutting-edge technology, and well-trained staff to provide emergency tree removal and tree maintenance services. With a presence in nine counties and two states, we work daily to provide unparalleled customer service, safety, and efficiency—as well as the expertise to beautify your landscaping and community. Advanced Tree Care isn’t just our name—it’s also our purpose!