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Healthy trees

Prune trees in winter. Most of our landscape trees should be pruned to have only one central leader. This adds strength and stability to the tree structure, and creates a straight appearance. If there is more than one leader, it may eventually cause the tree to split. Of course there are exceptions, like fruit trees such as peach, necatarine, cherry and plum, trees with several trunks, where each trunk should have one main leader, and some topiary and bonsai forms.

Mulch trees in winter to protect the roots, and to prevent evaporation of water and over-drying of the soil.

Keep an eye on the tree for warning signs that expert help must be sought.

Telltales of poor tree health include:

  • loose or peeling bark. With the exception of certain trees, such as some birches, eucalyptus and maples, bark should not be loose or peeling.
  • fungi growing on the trunk
  • bare patches, such as sections without leaves year-round on evergreen trees. Commons causes are  nutrients and water not reaching those branches, animals eating the leaves, improper pruning practices, pesticide damage and insectides and diseases.
  • wilting. Drooping leaves and stems may be caused by lack of water, over-watering, too much or too little sun, over-fertilizing and diseases.
  • leaves which turn yellow, unless the tree has yellow or variegated leaves, or stunted or irregularly-shaped leaves. Distortions in leaf size, colour or shape can all be signs of nutrient deficiencies, insect damage, watering problems, pesticide damage  or disease.
  • signs of insects  or diseases, such as insects visible on the tree, lack of fruit or flowers, leaf irregularities. holes in bark, brances or leaves, growths on branches, oozing sap, wilting and a slow growth rate.

 Take good care of your trees, and you are guaranteed to enjoy them as long as you are around. They will probably outlive you!

Categories: Gardening

Published in: August News

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