Friday, July 20, 2018

Preventing and Caring For Tree Wounds

Preventing and Caring For Tree Wounds

* By George Kinsela

Trees have an extraordinary ability to withstand the damaging effects caused by environment or equipment. Trees ward off the stressors that bite, burn, starve and rot their roots, trunk, limbs and leaves. It is truly amazing how trees compartmentalize their systems in order to seal the wounds. However, the best way to care for the tree in your yard is to prevent wounds in the first place.

Proper planting and regular maintenance are the keys to keeping trees safe and healthy. Here are some tips to prevent and care for tree wounds.

The most important thing that can be done to prevent tree wounds is to pick the right tree and plant it in the best possible place. Take help of certified arborists as they are the people who can properly guide you in choosing the site to plant trees. They will ensure that space is large enough to accommodate the tree's crown and roots. Mulching is an important maintenance practice for trees. If the mulch is properly applied, it will increase the tree's growth rate, prevent basal damage and conserve soil moisture. Mulch should be applied around the trees to a depth of two to four inches.

Pruning is another maintenance practice for trees. While pruning, it is important to make cuts at a proper location. Also, over pruning should be avoided. Hire certified arborists to do tree pruning as they can perform the job efficiently and safely. Pruning improves tree health and structure by removing broken, diseased or dead branches. If a tree has wounds then prune them immediately to avoid further damage.

Fertilizing trees is a practice which should be done only when required. If the growth is adequate and steady, the foliage appears healthy and there has been no major disturbance around the tree, then fertilization is not required. When you do need to fertilize, use a balanced and granular fertilizer that should be spread over the entire root zone of the tree. This will protect against tree wounds.

Healthy trees recover from wounding quickly. Try to keep wounded trees growing by watering them biweekly in the absence of rainfall. Remember this is in addition to any water you provide to grass on your lawn. This will not only increase the rate of wound closure but will enhance callus growth and improve the resistance to decay mechanism.

If the wound is big, then the best treatment is to prune it, otherwise let nature take its course and the tree will help repair itself.

* Note from blog owner: When pruning trees - the time of year is very important. Prune close to the winter season when the trees are going dormant. The tree will have thicker sap at that time and there will also be less sap running through the tree, reducing the chance of "bleeding" when you prune. However, as the article suggests - broken, diseased and damaged has to come out no matter what the season. Use pruning paint - a type of spray or brush on product that seals tree wounds from pruning, lawn mower damage and other sources of scaring. It is handy to have a can of this on hand, just in case.


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