The beginning of September doesn't just signal the end of summer — it's also the start of what's typically the most active period for hurricanes.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there's a 60% chance that the 2022 hurricane season will be above normal.
Hurricanes and other severe weather events can be detrimental to your trees. Although the risk of failure is never zero, healthy trees have a much better chance at standing strong against the high winds and heavy rains that frequently blow through the Charlotte, NC area this time of year.
Follow these 7 tips to keep your trees healthy and strong and sleep a little easier during hurricane season!
- Do your research.
- Protect the roots.
- Mulch and fertilize.
- Safeguard the trunk.
- Control pests and diseases.
- Water during dry spells.
- Prune regularly and install cables when needed.
1. Do your research.
Different species of trees have different needs. Some trees are sensitive to things like drought or high winds, so they may be starting at a disadvantage. Be sure to learn about the needs and preferred site conditions of your specific tree.
To get you started, we put together a tree care guide for 10 of the most common trees you'll find in NC. Download it for free here!
2. Protect the roots.
Did you know that soil compaction is the top stressor for urban trees? Compaction makes it harder for surface water to penetrate the soil and reduces the amount of oxygen the roots can get, leading to a weak root system. You can't expect your tree to be healthy without strong roots!
Driving cars and heavy equipment over root zones can cause soil compaction, so try to keep that to a minimum.
If your soil is already compacted, aeration can help! Learn more here.
3. Mulch and fertilize.
When was the last time you refreshed your tree's mulch bed? Keeping a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch around your tree can reduce soil compaction, prevent trimmer and mower damage, add essential nutrients to the soil, and moderate soil temperatures, creating an ideal environment for your tree.
Be sure to replenish your mulch frequently!
Fertilization is another great way to keep your tree healthy. Trees typically need 16-19 essential elements to grow and thrive. Since the soil of most urban landscapes is highly altered and nutrient deficient, regular fertilization treatments could do some good.
4. Safeguard the trunk.
Lawn mowers and string trimmers can damage tree bark and the important system that bark is protecting: the phloem — the pipeline that transports nutrients made via photosynthesis from the leaves to the roots.
A damaged phloem leads to a weakened root system, and a weakened root system can't send water and minerals from the soil to the rest of the tree.
5. Control pests and diseases.
Tree pests and diseases can weaken your tree. Be sure to monitor your tree for any of these issues:
- Pale or discolored leaves
- Branch dieback
- Crown thinning
- Leaf spots
- Slow growth
- Reduced flowering
As soon as you notice a problem, bring in an expert to find out what's going on and how to treat your sick tree.
6. Water during dry spells.
Most of the time, the amount of water your tree gets from rain is enough to keep it healthy. But during hot, dry weather and droughts, it's vital that you water your tree yourself.
The amount of water your tree may need depends on things like how old it is, its species, and the type of soil it's planted in, but there are some general watering tips you can follow.
We've gathered them all up for you and put them in this free, handy guide: An Introduction to Watering Your Trees.
7. Prune regularly and install cables when needed.
Structural pruning can improve your tree's structure by keeping the canopy balanced. The upcoming winter season is a great time to schedule your pruning service.
Cabling and bracing are good options if a tree care professional determines that there are parts of your tree that are structurally weak and need to be reinforced.
Carolina Tree Care offers many of the services you need to keep your trees strong. Request a consultation now to get your tree evaluated by our pros!
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