Helpful Tips for Healthy Trees

Helpful Tips for Healthy TreesIf you live in Atlanta or the surrounding suburbs, you are undoubtedly no stranger to trees.  With its long-standing reputation as the “city in a forest,” Atlanta is known for enjoying significantly more green-canopy coverage than most other cities in the United States, but properly maintaining the trees that contribute to that canopy can be a confusing prospect for many property owners.  One of the many lawn care services that we offer at Turf Shield, Inc. is a tree and shrub maintenance program that includes seven applications of a unique fertilizer, pesticide, and fungicide blend. These treatments promote healthy growth while preventing damage and disease, no matter what the season, and can be easily customized to each customer’s individual needs, but there are also some important steps that you can take to ensure that your trees are healthy and provide your family with maximum enjoyment.

Plan Ahead

Selecting the trees that you want to plant, and choosing the best locations to plant them, requires a great deal of care and consideration.  Choose short, flowering trees if there are overhead power lines, as larger trees may have to be severely pruned when they grow to maturity.  Think about placing large, deciduous trees on the southeast, southwest, and west sides of the property so they can provide cooling shade in the summer without obstructing the low winter sun.  Conversely, an evergreen windbreak on the north blocks cold winds in winter and makes your yard more usable during colder months.  Finally, don’t forget that some trees only grow in specific types of soil, so consult one of our experts before making a final decision.

Be Diligent about Maintenance

New trees require a great deal of care, including mulching and frequent deep watering.  A heavy coating of wood-chip mulch insulates the soil, protecting the tree seedling from extremes in temperature and helping to keep the roots moist.  The sweltering heat and persistent drought conditions that have plagued the last several Georgia summers are particularly harmful to young trees, so providing enough water to moisten the soil to the depth that includes all of the roots is vital.  Proper tree maintenance encourages rapid root establishment, which not only keeps trees healthy but gives them a firmer hold on the earth, reducing the chance that they may topple over in adverse weather.

Don’t Forget to Prune

Every winter, falling branches cause damage to homes and inconvenience to motorists all across the region, so keeping your trees properly shaped and pruned is as much an issue of safety as neighborly politeness.  Pruning trees during the winter months, while they are dormant, is the most common practice, and is most conducive to provoking a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring.  However, the requirements of individual species can vary, and so you should get some expert landscaping advice and adopt a pruning schedule that takes into consideration what your trees need and the overall effect you are trying to achieve.

If you have any questions about any of your landscaping needs, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Facebook  or Twitter to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

Tips for Caring for Your Trees

Tips for Caring for Your TreesAnyone who’s shopped for a house knows the value of “curb appeal” (looking attractive from the road), but having a home that looks welcoming, put-together, and well cared-for is dependent on the lawn as well as the house. Keeping your yard looking its best can be much more complex than homeowners expect, between caring for the grass, trees, bushes, and landscaping, so today, all of us at Turf Shield are here to help by offering some tips and tricks to keep the trees in your yard looking healthy and robust.

  • Have the deadwood pruned from your trees at least once per year.
  • Trees are made to survive in natural conditions, like rich soil, plenty of water, and surrounding wildlife, but different trees are also best in different climates. Talk to a tree care professional who can recommend the best trees for your lawn or find a way to give your existing trees any nutrients and necessities they may be lacking.
  • When laying mulch around a tree, keep it at least six inches away from the trunk. Mulch piled too close to the trunk will trap too much water, potentially causing the trunk and roots to rot.
  • Don’t prune a tree for the first year after it’s been planted, other than to remove obvious dead or broken branches.
  • Lower your risk of lawn pest infestations by planting trees from a variety of species. It can also be helpful if your trees vary in age.
  • Rather than blanket fertilizing all your trees, try “prescription fertilization” – having a lawn care professional evaluate what (if any) nutrients your trees are lacking and selectively fertilizing to fit their needs.
  • To check the moisture of the soil, insert a small trowel two inches into the soil and create a narrow trench so you can touch the lower soil with your fingers. It should be moist but not soggy.
  • Some areas have pruning restrictions due to certain pest infestations or widespread tree diseases, so be sure to find out if any apply to you before pruning.
  • Don’t wait to fertilize until after your tree is planted – fertilize the soil before you plant your new tree, and continue with maintenance fertilizations throughout the tree’s life as needed.

Building and maintaining a beautiful lawn which complements your home’s appearance while providing an enjoyable outdoor space requires a delicate balance between all the elements of your landscape. If you want a healthy yard without all the hassle, at Turf Shield, we have the tools and experience to make your trees, grass, bushes, and more look their best all year round. To discuss what we can do for your lawn, schedule a visit with Turf Shield.