Trees usually add value to your property, but this may not be the case if they haven't been properly cared for. Overgrown branches, poor care, and disease can all lead to more problems on your property than you likely want to deal with. The following are some important tasks that will help ensure that your trees are assets to your home.
Observe Proper Planting Distances
Planting a tree too closely to your home is sure to end in disaster. Issues include branches scraping against the house tearing off shingles, damage to siding and windows, leaf litter on the roof, and foundation damage from the roots. When planting new trees, check their expected mature height and plan to set the tree at least that far from your home. If you already have a mature tree planted too closely, removal is the best choice. If you don't want to do that, then at least keep the canopy pruned and install a root guard to protect your foundation.
Keep the Canopy Under Control
Falling branches can damage property or cause injury below the tree. Branches can also fly through the air during storms, damaging property set well away from the tree. Most trees need to be pruned in the later winter or early spring to manage their shape and remove damaged wood. You can also do a light pruning in late summer to remove weak wood before winter storms.
Practice Good Root Care
Weak roots result in weak trees, and weak trees can fall over in a rain or wind storm. Encouraging deep rooting requires good care practices. Water deeply every couple of weeks, as opposed to regular shallow watering. Mulch over the soil helps maintain a steady temperature, which stresses roots less so that they can grow strong. Mulch also prevents other plants from encroaching and competing with the tree for water and nutrients. Proper fertilization may also be necessary for good growth, depending on the tree variety.
Watch Out For Problems
Pests and diseases will weaken a tree. Sometimes the damage is minor and only affects a branch or two, but even a single dead branch can fall and cause damage. Other diseases are more severe. Some are severe but hard to spot until the day the tree comes crashing down, like heart rot. Keep an eye out for damaged or dead foliage, mushrooms growing around the base of the trunk, and increased insect activity or sticky insect trails. These can all indicate a severe problem.
If you need help caring for your trees, you can contact a tree service in your area.