Tree Care in Hot Summer Months

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Paver Patios in Annapolis

Tree-care in Annapolis, MD during the hot and wet summer months is a year-round responsibility, but it is important to note that your trees need different things during different times of the year. Every tree and growing location is different, so it is always important to be flexible and tailor your approach to suit your specific trees. However, you’ll likely find that the following four tips help keep your trees healthier and looking their best all summer long.

1. Apply a fresh layer of mulch over the roots.
Mulch helps to keep your trees – especially their roots – healthy in a variety of ways. However, mulch’s ability to shield the roots from high temperatures and to retain soil moisture are the two most important ways it can help in the summertime.

There are a variety of different mulches you can use, but organic, bark- or wood-based mulches are generally the best choices. Just make sure that you spread a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer around as much of the root zone as possible, and avoid piling mulch up against the tree trunk, as this can encourage fungal and bacterial growth.

2. Develop an irrigation plan.
Annapolis, MD summers are notoriously wet, and rain only falls quite a bit with big thunderstorms. Some trees are capable of withstanding these wet conditions without any supplemental irrigation, but others will need a helping hand if they’re to survive.

Research the water needs of your trees if you aren’t already familiar with them and devise a plan to suit their needs. There are a number of highly efficient ways to remove water around trees. Why waste all of the free water from your landscape, rooftop, driveways, patios, and grass area. Re-use it! This new technology will collect and retain groundwater and rainwater underground and be able for you use at your own convenience. Are you tired of having ugly rain barrels under your gutter downspouts? We can install a retention basin underground, collect and retain all rainwater, and then hook this new water source to a hose or your irrigation system.

• Paradise Landscape & Hardscape designs and installs the following drainage solutions: Catch basins, channel drains, & French drains to move water away from home
• Connect gutter downspouts and run them underground to the location you want
• Dry creek bed with hidden drainage pipes to channel water and improve the aesthetic properties
• Change the grading on your property to divert water in a different direction
• Innovative Dry-wells

3. Ensure that your tree’s roots and trunk are protected.

When the kids are out of school and the tourist season is in full swing, your trees may become exposed to a lot more foot traffic. They may even fall victim to vandalism or deliberate damage. And while you can’t completely protect your trees from these threats, you’ll want to do everything you can to shield them from harm. Mulch will help protect a tree’s roots from minor foot traffic, but you may want to install fences or other types of barriers if your tree lies along a well-trodden path. You may even be able to install other plants to help keep people away from the trunks and roots of your trees – a couple of prickly holly shrubs can convince most casual passersby from getting too close. If you see big roots exposed, curling or snaking on the soil’s surface around a tree, it can be a sign of trouble. Tree roots normally grow just below ground, in the top 12 to 18 inches of soil.

When roots are above the soil, they’re easily damaged. They can be sliced by lawnmowers or string trimmers, or worn and torn by foot traffic. Damaged roots can’t do their job of collecting water and nutrients to support the tree.

Don’t try to rebury the roots by piling on more soil. The soil may end up too deep or tightly packed, so the fine feeder roots can’t absorb oxygen.
Do spread mulch over the roots. This will: Cushion the roots, Insulate them, Discourage foot traffic, Keep lawnmowers away (there’s no need to mow mulch)

Do use an organic material such as wood chips or shredded wood. Spread it in an even layer 3 to 4 inches deep over the surface of the soil.
Do make the area of mulch as large as it needs to be to completely cover the exposed roots, even if that means covering an area of lawn. It’s healthier for a tree to be surrounded by mulch than by grass.

Exposed roots aren’t just a dangerous tripping hazard; they can spell danger for the trees they support.

4. Inspect the tree’s health while the canopy is full.

Crown dieback – characterized by dead or dying branches in the canopy — is one of the most common signs of failing health or stress, and it is important to regularly inspect your trees for it. However, it can be difficult to do so for deciduous trees, which shed their leaves in the winter.
However, the summer provides the perfect time to take a look at the canopies of your trees, as the tree should be exhibiting the greatest leaf density at this time. If you note any dead branches, be sure to have a landscaper inspect the tree at once.

Do you know what the Maryland State Tree is? The White Oak. Handsome and sturdy, the white oak is named for its whitish bark and grey twigs. White Oaks are large, long-lived, and slow-growing trees, reaching heights of 60 to 150 feet, with diameters between 3 to 4 feet. Their glossy, bright green leaves have rounded lobes, five to seven per leaf. The species is found commonly throughout Maryland. Sometime around its fiftieth year, a white oak begins to produce acorns and may produce 10,000 annually. Crowned with shallow caps that are smooth underneath, these acorns sprout soon after falling from the tree. Sweet to the taste, they are a dietary mainstay for over 80 species of birds and mammals. Native Americans ground acorns into flour, a technique they shared with early European settlers. White oaks produce prime hardwood lumber with a fine, almost watertight grain, excellent for barrel staves.

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If you are concerned that your trees won’t take this summer in stride, give Paradise a call or fill out our FREE ESTIMATE form below. We’ll come out to inspect your trees and recommend the best strategies for keeping them healthy throughout the hot, humid, wet weather. We may even notice subtle signs that indicate imminent problems, thereby allowing you to treat them proactively and avoid headaches down the line.