The warm months are a great time to deal with lawn care, but it's easy to neglect your trees while you're busy fussing over your gardens and grass. Even though these towering giants dominate most landscapes, they somehow manage to fade into the background when it comes time to take care of yard work. When sprucing up your property in the summer, keep these tips in mind to help your trees stay healthy and beautiful.
Understanding Tree Growth
Before you can understand the best ways to care for your trees, it's important to understand a few basic bits of information about how tree growth works. The particulars of caring for a tree will depend in part on the type of tree and its particular life stage, but there are some general facts that can help you to understand how the trees in your yard grow.
Most trees experience their greatest growth in the late spring. Although it may not always be obvious from the surface, this is when your trees are expanding their root systems underground. This growth is what allows the tree to create new foliage and expand its network of branches and twigs above ground. The main source of a tree's height is its twigs; the trunk itself does not grow upwards except at the ends of new branches. The dominant branch at the top of a tree is usually the one that will be responsible for the most vertical growth.
Pruning for Health
Whatever the season, it is always a good idea to remove any tree branches that appear damaged or that are obviously suffering from disease. Infections can spread throughout a tree and seriously hinder new growth. Damaged branches are unlikely to recover sap energy from the rest of the tree as well, making it important to remove them so that healthy portions of the tree can continue to flourish. There is no best time to handle this kind of pruning. Instead, remove these problematic branches whenever you notice them.
Pruning for Growth
Remember that the aboveground growth that tends to be most obvious in the summertime is following a huge spurt of underground growth in the spring. It is best to conduct serious pruning when the tree is not active, as this limits the possibility of infections taking hold in the areas that you've pruned. Most people choose to conduct this pruning during the winter, as trees are generally dormant throughout the cold months.
If you focus on removing branches that are growing in inconvenient directions during the winter or the fall, then the tree will direct its energy elsewhere during its spring and summer growth spurts.
Pruning for Safety
While routine pruning should be done during a tree's dormant months, it is still important to keep your trees pruned for safety reasons during the summer. If large or heavy branches are hanging over driveways or walkways they should always be removed, even if it is during a time of the year when the tree is typically active. Likewise, trees that are growing too close to your house should always be pruned as soon as the problem is noticed. Proper pruning during the winter or fall can help to minimize these issues, but tree growth is not always perfectly predictable.
For more information, contact a company like Brown's Tree Service.