Many people wonder if treating their trees is truly necessary; after all, trees have thrived in the wild for thousands of years without human help or fertilization. Despite this, tree treatment is crucial as it dramatically increases your plants chances of surviving to an old age and remaining healthy. It is common for stressed trees to have a higher risk of disease and infestation. This stress and infestation can be due to environmental issues like the wrong amount of water, using toxic chemical pesticides, using the wrong or too much fertilizer, planting the wrong trees, or only planting one species. The following tips can help you avoid these issues as well as general tree stress, letting your landscape remain healthy.
While fertilizing your trees is important, you want to avoid synthetic fertilizers as well as toxic chemical pesticides. The first of these doesnt have the right nutrient balance so the trees arent fed well. The second of these will destroy beneficial insects, microorganisms, and nematodes. Chemicals can also harm the living organisms within the soil, including beneficial microbes. At Houston Tree Surgeons, we rely only on organic fertilization methods so your trees can get proper nutrition without harmful side effects.
Another useful tree treatment that we can perform for you is root flare excavation. You will want to aerate the root zone of your trees as this is necessary for their healthy. You dont want to plow, till, or tear the soil surrounding the trees since it can potentially harm feeder roots. The ideal method of aeration is to drill holes throughout the root zone with an earth auger or similar tool. You can also rely on liquid injectors or air spades. Make each hole 6 to 12 inches deep and place them between the drip line and tree trunk before moving outward.
You will also want to remove extra soil from around the tree’s root flare. It is common for trees to be planted too deeply or have eroded soil wash onto their roots. Extra soil on the roots, no matter the cause, means that the roots cant absorb as much oxygen, leading to root girdling. The excess soil can also lead to constantly moist bark, which in turn increases the risk of infection and may lead to rotting. We prefer to remove the extra soil before we plant a tree, but if your tree is established, we can aerate it with an air spade.
A compost tea or other natural spray can be applied around the trees and the soil near them. Never use toxic or synthetic chemical pesticides. Instead, ask about our natural options or create a spray using garlic oil tea or cornmeal juice. One of our favorites is Neem oil, which doesnt affect beneficial insects, but discourages sucking and chewing ones. You should ideally spray your trees twice every year.