Monday, October 13, 2008

Caring for Trees: Watering, Feeding, and Pruning for Success

By: Joe Cline
Word Count: 528

What’s the one thing that makes a yard? It’s not size; it’s not grass; it’s not flowers , garden gnomes, walkways or outdoor accessories. It’s trees. Everyone loves trees; everyone wants trees. It doesn’t matter where you live, or if you already have a million, accumulating more shade givers in your front and back yard is an admirable and common goal. But what some people forget is that it’s not just buying and planting the trees that creates a veritable forest around your home; it’s also caring for them - watering, fertilizing and pruning the trees - that keeps your hard lush, green and healthy.

The first step is watering the trees. You don’t want to over-water, nor do you want to under-water. You have to find the perfect balance between drought and soaking. If you have young trees, that balance will involve more frequent watering than if you have older trees. Older trees only require watering during extremely hot periods. During those times, they will require a deep, thorough watering at least once a week, but when it is cooler if not damp, they need nothing but nature.

You also want to fertilize your trees, particularly if you have experienced drought, infestation or disease. Doing this once a year will ensure that your trees continue to grow and encourage flowering. The best times for fertilization are in the early spring or late fall. To know what kind of fertilizer to use and how to apply it, contact a local tree specialist with experience in your climate and tree-type.

Finally, you want to prune your trees. Pruning will allow your trees to take on a manageable shape and grow to their full potential. You’ll want to start by removing any small dead or dying branches. Then, get rid of branches that appear to be too heavy to remain in the air. This will not only help the tree but you as you continue pruning, as it will limit the possibility that a branch could fall and strike you during work.

When you make the first cut, cut a foot or so from the trunk of the tree. Make a second cut a few inches out from the first. If it’s a large limb, it should fall on its own and you can remove the remaining stub at the edge of the branch collar, or bulging area where the branch meets the trunk. From there, the wound you have created by removing the branch should callus over without decay. You should not need a wound dressing, unless something has gone wrong in the pruning process.

Whatever you do, you do not want to top a tree, meaning you don’t want to take shears to the top of the tree cutting off everything sticking up beyond a certain point, unless you absolutely have to. This act usually stunts the shape of a tree and takes away from aesthetics.

Your trees should be assets to your yard - they should be something you are proud of. Take care of them with proper watering, fertilizing and pruning, and they will be.

About the Author: The author writes articles on Austin Real Estate Blog. For more information about Austin Texas Real Estate, Lakeway real estate and Austin real estate can be found on the net.

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