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Taking care of trees is essential for their health, longevity, and the overall beauty of our environment. However, even with the best intentions, homeowners and garden enthusiasts often make mistakes when it comes to tree care. These mistakes can have long-lasting and sometimes irreversible consequences for the trees. In this article, we will discuss the five most common tree care mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them.

1. Improper Pruning

One of the most prevalent tree care mistakes is improper pruning. Many people mistakenly believe that removing large branches or excessive foliage will benefit the tree. However, improper pruning can lead to weak tree structure, disease, and even death. Avoid topping or lion-tailing trees, as these practices remove essential foliage and disrupt the tree’s natural growth pattern. Instead, learn proper pruning techniques or consult with an ISA Certified Arborist to ensure your trees are trimmed correctly.

2. Over or Underwatering

Watering is a critical aspect of tree care, and getting it wrong can have detrimental effects. Overwatering can suffocate the tree’s roots and promote the growth of root rot and fungal diseases. On the other hand, underwatering can lead to drought stress and leave the tree vulnerable to pests and diseases. To avoid these mistakes, know your tree species and their specific watering requirements. Provide water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. The most common mistake we see in customers’ yards is that grass is watered multiple times a week for short intervals. Trees prefer less frequent and longer intervals of watering. One tip is to extend your run time per zone and only water once per week during the growing season.  Many times during the colder months a once-per-month deep watering is adequate. If we are experiencing quality rain like we have recently then simply turn off your irrigation for a week or two so the grass and trees can enjoy all the benefits of the rainwater.  

3. Incorrect Mulching

Mulching offers numerous benefits to trees, such as conserving soil moisture, suppressing weeds, and regulating soil temperature. However, applying mulch incorrectly is a common mistake. Avoid piling mulch directly against the tree trunk, as this can lead to moisture accumulation, decay, and the growth of harmful pathogens. Instead, apply a layer of mulch under the tree canopy, extending it a few inches away from the trunk, while keeping it shallow, no more than 2-4 inches deep.

4. Ignoring Soil Health

Healthy soil is vital for tree growth and development. Neglecting soil health is a mistake that can have long-term consequences. Compacted soil restricts root growth and limits nutrient absorption. It is crucial to regularly aerate the soil, especially in urban environments with heavy foot traffic. Additionally, fertilization is essential to replenish nutrients depleted by the tree. Consult with your favorite ISA Certified Arborist to better understand your soil conditions and treatment needs. The blend of products that Hildebrandt Tree Tech uses when deep-root fertilizing your trees consists of five separate products. Out of these five products, only one is an actual fertilizer. The other products are specifically used to improve soil quality, root growth, and nutrient availability. 

5. Neglecting Regular Inspections

Many tree issues can be prevented or mitigated through regular inspections. Neglecting to inspect your trees can lead to problems going unnoticed until they become severe. Regularly examine your trees for signs of disease, pest infestations, and structural issues. Look for dead or broken branches, fungal growth, abnormal leaf discoloration, or any other abnormalities. Early detection and timely intervention can save a tree’s life and prevent potential hazards.  Remember, if you are a current customer of Hildebrandt Tree Tech’s plant/tree health program don’t forget that we offer complimentary tree health assessments if you notice something out of sorts. Just give us a call.  

Improving Plant and Tree Health With Hildebrandt Tree Tech

Avoiding common tree care mistakes is crucial for the health and well-being of your trees. By understanding and implementing proper tree care techniques, you can help ensure their longevity and beauty. Remember to seek professional guidance to educate yourself about the specific needs of your tree species and consistently monitor them to maintain their overall health. By doing so, you will contribute to a healthier environment and enjoy the benefits of well-cared-for trees for years to come.