Growing Trees - Hints And Tips


Nothing heralds the arrival of Spring better than perfumed blossoms on trees.

Trees are valued from an aesthetic point of view and for the shade they produce. Trees can improve the value of your property quite markedly. This value is dependent on the size of the trees, the types of trees and how well cared for they are. Trees can act as sunshades and as wind breaks, hence they can decrease cooling and heating costs within your home.

Trees are good for our health and spirits. Not only do they look appealing but they sooth us and de-stress us. Their psychological effects are profound - that's why trees are planted around hospitals and nursing home - they speed our recovery.


Hints And Tips For Growing Trees

Before buying a tree think about how much soil it requires for root growth, think about far it needs to be away from buildings and also think about above and below ground utilities such as overhead wires and underground cables and pipes. Also will the tree receive an adequate amount of sunshine and water?

When planting a tree dig a hole that is 2 - 3 times wider than the root ball of the tree. The depth should be no more than the depth of the root ball.

Trees need to be mulched just as much as other plants. Make the mulch 60 - 80 mm (3 - 4 inches) in depth. Organic matter is best. Don't use black plastic as it interferes with water absorption by the roots. Mulch creates a temperature barrier in winter just as much as it does in summer. It acts as insulation.

Don't mow close to trees. If you mulch around your trees it eliminates the need to mow up close anyway. Lawn edge trimmers should be kept away from trees as they can damage the bark and ultimately lead to the death of the tree.

Trees grown in our gardens don't generally have as much competition as they do in a forest so their branches tend to grow out horizontally rather than vertically as they would in a forest. We need to prune trees to improve their branch structure. Pruning can also remove unhealthy branches and can enable more air and sunlight to reach the middle of trees, this is especially important for fruit trees. It is especially important to prune young trees to enable their structures to be strong right from the start.

Trees can be pruned at any time and the timing will not affect the health of the tree. Often it is easier to see exactly what needs pruning when the tree is dormant and has no leaves to obstruct your view. It is also important to consider when the tree is going to flower and then ensure you have trimmed it back well prior to new buds forming.

For most trees you should never reduce more than 1/4 of its crown when pruning.

Try to encourage your trees to branch out so that the branches are at an upwards angle at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions.

For most trees their natural environment is the forest and they receive plenty of nutrients from falling leaves that break down and decompose. This is most usually not the case in suburban gardens or in commercial areas where they are surrounded by concrete. Consequently there are times when our trees need fertilizing. Contact your local nursery to find out what you need for your specific tree and your locality.

Insects and other bugs in your trees should be assessed by an arborist or by your local nursery. Not all bugs are detrimental to the health of your tree and some bugs are there to give you warning that something else is amiss in your tree or your garden.


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