Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Crew Update #4: Tree Care Lessons

Contributing writer - Sarah Turner, Summer Crew Team Member 

In my third week as a Summer Crew team member, I have learned a few important tree care basics. Although many people believe that trees are self-sufficient and do not require much care after being planted, young trees need extra attention the first three years they are in the ground.

Stressed trees may need extra care.

The standard rule of thumb is to ensure each newly planted tree receives 25 gallons of water per week - the exact amount our slow-release watering bags hold. However, it is important to evaluate each individual tree's needs. Some trees may show signs of distress, such as browning of leaves and could use additional water to help return them to health. I have learned to pay attention and respond to these small signs.

Weeding and mulching is frequently overlooked. Weeding removes competition for nutrients and mulching prevents weeds from returning and keeps the soil moist. Both are very important to do in the summer months and only takes a few minutes to do.

Summer Crew member Sarah Turner working at Daingerfield Island.

Lastly, be careful with lawn care equipment like lawnmowers. One nick on a tree's trunk can sever its nutrient transportation system. The tree may not show signs immediate signs of distress but small tears and cuts can be fatal. Adding trunk guards at the base of the tree and protective mulch ring can help safeguard your trees.

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