Note from Jim: some good advice this week on general maintenance for a healthy garden.
If you like the idea of a lush green garden, full of natural wildlife, but do not have the time or the patience to carefully cultivate delicate flowers, then a garden full of trees is a great, low maintenance approach. The relative size of these beasts of a plant mean that once they have established, a tree will, essentially, look after itself.
However, a garden still needs some maintenance, otherwise it just looks messy and some tree care may be needed periodically.
1. Knowing Your Trees
Like all plants, different species of tree are susceptible to certain diseases or insect and animal infestation. Go down to your local bookshop and find a decent book on types of trees and the diseases they can get. With this knowledge, you will be able to diagnose and deal with a tree disease before it spreads throughout your entire garden. If you have any doubts, your local tree services company will be able to assist you in diagnosing diseases.
2. Keeping It Neat
Your trees are fairly self sufficient when it comes to maintaining themselves, over time and in high winds, they will naturally drop loose branches but if you notice a branch that is looking a little dead or one that has been damaged in a storm and has not completely detached from the tree, then it is a good idea to undertake some Tree Lopping. Although it is usually ill-advised, periodic pruning of dead branches will help keep the healthy parts of the tree healthy and reduce the probability of abnormal growth.
3. Feeding Your Tree
If you have a woodland garden then mulching is not necessary. If you have trees on grass lawns though, then mulching a few feet around the base of the trunk is highly recommended. Consult a local tree services expert but a mulch made up of old bark, rotten leaves and wood chips – a mulch which resembles the floor of a forrest will help keep essential moisture and nutrients in the soil, where they are available to the tree.
4. Do Not Overwater or overfeed you tree
In the early years of growth, your tree may benefit from some additional food and water, but be careful; like most garden species too much can be just as deadly as too little. Take notes about the general conditions where you live and the trees that naturally grow there, if you like in a desert like environment (for example) then it is possible your native trees have evolved to grow in low water conditions and you love and care may inadvertently kill it.
5. Try Not To Damage The Bark
Bark breakage can be a real issue for trees, it damages them and can allow insects and bacteria to get underneath the skin on the tree and cause serious damage. Bark damage can be caused by a lawn mower or strimmer, even the ladder you rest against the tree while you do some lopping. Look out for damaged bark and seek advice.
Chris Turner runs his own Canopy Tree Services Sydney area company and is one of the contractors that maintain the trees in the local parks. Chris also does private tree care and Canopy Tree Lopping Sydney area. He has been doing this job for 10 years and has seen and treated most tree diseases.