By: Shelby McCullough| Published: December 1, 2021
There’s no greater gardening joy than to see a tree grow from a sapling into a gorgeous, mature specimen. Not only do trees attract native wildlife and provide shade, but they can also dramatically increase your home’s value and curb appeal.
If you already have established trees in your yard, you may often take them for granted. However, by following a few tips and tricks and working with the best tree service company in Orlando, you can help your trees thrive, leading to decades of enjoyment.
Choose the Right Tree
Trees can vary wildly in their nutrient and water needs. Some trees are drought-tolerant, making them sensitive to areas with overabundant water. Others are sensitive to high winds or salt spray, making them unsuitable for coastline gardens.
Put yourself in a great starting position by choosing a tree that’s adapted to Orlando’s climate and your particular soil and space conditions. This tree will require less attention and be more likely to survive any environmental challenges it may face.
Young trees need many nutrients, light, and water to establish themselves. Having grass near the tree’s trunk will result in competition for nutrients and water, which the grass generally tends to win due to its much broader root system.
By planting your tree in a grass-free, mulched area, you can increase the nutrients and water your tree gets. Well-fed trees are more resistant to pests and diseases, resulting in faster growth and proper development.
Protect the Roots
A key method of protecting tree health is maintaining a healthy root system. Keeping tree roots healthy involves maintaining well-drained, oxygenated soil around the root system. The best way to do that is to designate a critical root zone around your tree—generally, a circle that has a circumference beneath the tree’s outmost branches.
The Critical Root Zone (CRZ) should be kept free of any soil disturbances, including compacting or changing the soil’s grade, all of which can affect the root system’s development and growth.
Incorrect pruning can do as much damage to your tree as neglecting to prune it at all. Carefully cut only at the base of a limb, not in the middle of a branch.
While removing broken, crossed, or dead branches is essential for tree health, pruning is also permissible for aesthetic reasons. Many homeowners remove low branches, forcing the tree to develop upward while also permitting more light below.
Only Water and Fertilize When Necessary
If you’ve chosen the right tree for your soil conditions and used mulch that improves soil quality, you won’t need to fertilize often. Keep your trees healthy by fertilizing only when you see signs of nutrient deficiency, such as yellowing leaves. Performing a soil test will help you decide which nutrients you need to add.