3 Crucial Mulching Tips for Healthy Trees

To aid its development and protect your tree from adverse effects of extreme weather, mulching should be implemented. Not only does it insulate the soil at the base, but it also aids root growth and conserves moisture for the plant. It’s ability to reduce weeds and their roots, are an added benefit. As you can see there are varied benefits; with these simple to follow thetreecareguide.com mulching tips, you can grow healthy and long-lasting trees.

Apply Organic Mulch

Compost, leaves, tree bark, pine needles, and plant by-products are all used in organic mulch. Depending on the climate, materials, and soil composition, organic mulch decomposes at different rates.

It is the breaking down of these elements that improve the soil quality and nutrient source for trees. Naturally, the ones that decompose at a faster pace require you refresh and replenish them more often. However, the positive benefits of organic mulch far outweigh the frequency at which they require being replenished.

Abstain from Volcano Mulching

This ineffective approach is when mulch is piled against and around the base of the tree, whereas the shape resembles a “volcano”. It is inappropriate to place the matter around the trunk of the tree. The effects of Volcano mulching can be grave, as it promotes deterioration and is a great environment for pests and unwanted insects.

As a good point of reference, place the mulch starting 2-4 inches away from the trunk, and continue out slightly past the drip line.

Since the root system usually extends beyond the drip line, it’s okay and appropriate to cover the radius beyond the drip line with mulch as well. Essentially, mulch covers the roots and ground around the roots of trees.

Layering and Refreshing of Existing Mulch

Another potential mistake is having too much mulch, which is easy to do when you don’t when piling fresh mulch on top of old mulch.

You want no less than 4 inches of mulch in depth. Upon checking if there is sufficient mulch, then simply rake and refresh the pile. If there is insufficient mulch upon inspection, break up the existing matted mulch with a rake. Then lay new mulch over the old mulch and mix it with a rake.

Mulch Can Significantly Promote the Health of Your Trees

Strictly applied, mulching is helpful to trees. Do not let mulch rest on the shoot as you lay mulch 3-4 inches close to the drip line of the tree during closing. The mulch should be in the form of a flat ring donut with the shoot in the center. Most preferred over inorganic mulch (rocks, stones) is organic mulch (bark of hardwood and softwood, leaves, cocoa hulls, etc.)

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2rNzTTR

Managing Plant and Tree Aphid Infestation

The aphid is a dangerous plant pest. It can harm a plant slowly, and if the necessary curative measures are not taken, it can spread and start affecting other nearby plants and trees. They have the ability to drain the sap and destroy the flowers and stems of a plant. As aphids feed on plants, they can spread the virus to them, and they excrete honeydew, which causes the growth of sooty mold. This thetreecareguide.com article covers identifying aphids and solutions to deter them from inhabiting and damaging your trees and plants.

How To Identify Aphid Infestation

Aphids have different colors ranging from black, green, red, brown or yellow depending on their species. Their bodies are pear-shaped, and they can easily be identified with their long antenna and legs. Aphids can be distinguished from other insects by their cornicles, (two tube-like projections at the back of their body).

Some species secrete grayish or white substances from the surface of their body; hence they appear wooly or wax-like. A few species of aphids may have wings due to over-population or weather variations, but generally, the adults are wingless. Possession of wings creates an avenue for aphids to disperse to many locations in search of plants to destroy.

Bait to Keep Protective Ants Away From Aphids

Aphids and many ant species share a kind of symbiotic relationship. This is because when aphids feed on plants, they secrete honeydew, and ants feed on the honeydew. To maintain their supply of honeydew, the ants protect the aphids from destruction by predators.

To expose the aphids and make them vulnerable to predators such birds, you need to draw the ants away, for instance by baiting them with honey. When the ants move away from the castle where they protect the aphids, the aphids can then be destroyed by predators.

When you see ants climbing a tree infested with plants, you have to stop them from getting to the aphids by rubbing a sticky material on the tree, such that the material traps them and prevents them from going further up. However, you need to be careful not to put the material on the bark of a young or pruned plant, as it may be harmful to the plant. The best way to go about it is to wrap a fabric or duct tape around the tree bark and apply the sticky material on the tape or fabric.

Also, you can put baits in containers and drop them on the ground to distract insects or cut off some branches touching the ground, other trees or the roof of buildings.

Solutions to Control Aphids

Use of Soap and Water – Soaps are basic in nature and can be used in fighting aphids. To do this, you have to dissolve a small amount of soap in water and sprinkle the solution on the aphid infested plants. You also need to make sure that you sprinkle it on the back of leaves and other places smaller aphids and their eggs and larvae may be hiding. The soap dissolves the waxy substance on the body of the aphids and exposes them to dehydration and consequently, death. This way, you can fight aphids without affecting the plant itself.

Caution should be taken when using this method, because if the soap is applied indiscriminately, it may kill other beneficial species of insects, which can prey on aphids, such as ladybug, lacewings, and hoverflies, and killing of these predators make it easier for new sets of aphids to colonize the plant.

Insecticides – The best choice in fighting aphids is the use insecticidal soaps and petroleum-derived oils like canola oil and neem. They destroy the aphids by suffocating them. Hence it is necessary to apply them thoroughly on the affected areas. 1 to 2% solution of the oil is to be mixed with water and applied thoroughly, paying special attention to the top and underneath the leaves.

The product kills aphids that are present the moment they are sprayed, their toxicity does not persist, so it is necessary to repeat the application. Some natural enemies of aphids present at the time of spraying may also be killed, as their toxicity does not persist, hence natural enemies can migrate to the plant afterward.

Use of Aphids Natural Enemies – You can eliminate aphids from your garden by introducing some natural enemies such as lacewings and ladybugs. These natural enemies can be bought from vendors, or lured into the garden using their individual foods.

Visit http://ift.tt/2pfW7JC for more pest prevention tips.

Working Towards An Ecosystem Free From Infestation

The best way to maintain your garden and not to worry over the population of aphids is by creating a balance between host plants, prey, and predators.

The best way to control aphids is not by totally killing all aphids in your garden, because when they are totally destroyed, their natural predators migrate away from the farm to other places where they can find food, thereby leaving your farm vulnerable.

The most advisable thing to do is to not over-shelter, over-fertilize or over-pamper your plants, instead, allow them to and adapt strongly to the environment such that they can naturally heal from mild damages caused by insects.

Source(s):
http://ift.tt/2q4gigf
http://ift.tt/1n6bXNz
http://ift.tt/2q4sDRD
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2pfRH5j

Managing Plant and Tree Aphid Infestation

The aphid is a dangerous plant pest. It can harm a plant slowly, and if the necessary curative measures are not taken, it can spread and start affecting other nearby plants and trees. They have the ability to drain the sap and destroy the flowers and stems of a plant. As aphids feed on plants, they can spread the virus to them, and they excrete honeydew, which causes the growth of sooty mold. This thetreecareguide.com article covers identifying aphids and solutions to deter them from inhabiting and damaging your trees and plants.

How To Identify Aphid Infestation

Aphids have different colors ranging from black, green, red, brown or yellow depending on their species. Their bodies are pear-shaped, and they can easily be identified with their long antenna and legs. Aphids can be distinguished from other insects by their cornicles, (two tube-like projections at the back of their body).

Some species secrete grayish or white substances from the surface of their body; hence they appear wooly or wax-like. A few species of aphids may have wings due to over-population or weather variations, but generally, the adults are wingless. Possession of wings creates an avenue for aphids to disperse to many locations in search of plants to destroy.

Bait to Keep Protective Ants Away From Aphids

Aphids and many ant species share a kind of symbiotic relationship. This is because when aphids feed on plants, they secrete honeydew, and ants feed on the honeydew. To maintain their supply of honeydew, the ants protect the aphids from destruction by predators.

To expose the aphids and make them vulnerable to predators such birds, you need to draw the ants away, for instance by baiting them with honey. When the ants move away from the castle where they protect the aphids, the aphids can then be destroyed by predators.

When you see ants climbing a tree infested with plants, you have to stop them from getting to the aphids by rubbing a sticky material on the tree, such that the material traps them and prevents them from going further up. However, you need to be careful not to put the material on the bark of a young or pruned plant, as it may be harmful to the plant. The best way to go about it is to wrap a fabric or duct tape around the tree bark and apply the sticky material on the tape or fabric.

Also, you can put baits in containers and drop them on the ground to distract insects or cut off some branches touching the ground, other trees or the roof of buildings.

Solutions to Control Aphids

Use of Soap and Water – Soaps are basic in nature and can be used in fighting aphids. To do this, you have to dissolve a small amount of soap in water and sprinkle the solution on the aphid infested plants. You also need to make sure that you sprinkle it on the back of leaves and other places smaller aphids and their eggs and larvae may be hiding. The soap dissolves the waxy substance on the body of the aphids and exposes them to dehydration and consequently, death. This way, you can fight aphids without affecting the plant itself.

Caution should be taken when using this method, because if the soap is applied indiscriminately, it may kill other beneficial species of insects, which can prey on aphids, such as ladybug, lacewings, and hoverflies, and killing of these predators make it easier for new sets of aphids to colonize the plant.

Insecticides – The best choice in fighting aphids is the use insecticidal soaps and petroleum-derived oils like canola oil and neem. They destroy the aphids by suffocating them. Hence it is necessary to apply them thoroughly on the affected areas. 1 to 2% solution of the oil is to be mixed with water and applied thoroughly, paying special attention to the top and underneath the leaves.

The product kills aphids that are present the moment they are sprayed, their toxicity does not persist, so it is necessary to repeat the application. Some natural enemies of aphids present at the time of spraying may also be killed, as their toxicity does not persist, hence natural enemies can migrate to the plant afterward.

Use of Aphids Natural Enemies – You can eliminate aphids from your garden by introducing some natural enemies such as lacewings and ladybugs. These natural enemies can be bought from vendors, or lured into the garden using their individual foods.

Visit http://ift.tt/2pfW7JC for more pest prevention tips.

Working Towards An Ecosystem Free From Infestation

The best way to maintain your garden and not to worry over the population of aphids is by creating a balance between host plants, prey, and predators.

The best way to control aphids is not by totally killing all aphids in your garden, because when they are totally destroyed, their natural predators migrate away from the farm to other places where they can find food, thereby leaving your farm vulnerable.

The most advisable thing to do is to not over-shelter, over-fertilize or over-pamper your plants, instead, allow them to and adapt strongly to the environment such that they can naturally heal from mild damages caused by insects.

Source(s):
http://ift.tt/2q4gigf
http://ift.tt/1n6bXNz
http://ift.tt/2q4sDRD
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2pfRH5j

Tree Pest Prevention and Treatment Tips

When things are natural and balanced, the process of nutrient recycling,
decomposition, and plant recycling is helped with the use of bacteria,
microorganisms and insects. When it comes to your yard, these
microorganism and insects manage to coexist to build the perfect
well-balanced habitat. This natural balance can’t be replicated by any
man-made means and when things grow naturally in this manner it leads to
natural pest control.

The ideal environment is created by balancing the amount of healthy
plants with the insects and diseases that naturally show up in the
environment. When one particular aspect outweighs the others then you
can end up with a real problem. We discuss many of these problems on thetreecareguide.com,
but the good news is that there are ways to tackle such as scenario and
re-balance the ecosystem to get everything working properly.

Increase Age Disparity and Species Diversity

Some property owners will keep only a limited species of trees.  Then
there are people with the property to grow their own little woods in
their backyard. Even people with a forest for a back yard are unaware of
how beneficial these are in keeping pests at bay.

These small wooded areas that have a large diversity of tree species
will be less susceptible to outbreaks of pests compared to wooded areas
featuring just one or two species of trees.

Having a diversity in the age of trees also helps reduce the chances
of a pest outbreak. A diversity in age, much like the diversity in
species, will make the ecosystem more complex and stable.

Maintaining a healthy age diversity is likely going to lead to a
natural balance of organisms. This balance works to keep pests away from
young trees. This harmony is created as these pests are eliminated by
the predators and parasites that are already in the area from the older
trees.

Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem as a Pest Prevention Strategy

In a similar vein to pest prevention, there are two key benefit of
keeping the landscape healthy. The first is that the healthier a tree
and its ecosystem is, the less likely it is to succumb to pests. The
second is that, should there be an outbreak, these healthy plants are
better equipped to survive the infestation and respond well to treatment
afterwards.

In order to keep your trees healthy and less stressed you should
ensure that they do not get overcrowded. Much like anything in nature,
when plants are overcrowded they will fight each other for important
nutrients and sunlight. This stresses out the plants and makes them more
likely to fall victim to a pest infestation.

Tree Pest Warning Signs

There are signs and symptoms that your tree is unhealthy. These
include discolored needles and leaves, dieback on the crown or upper
limbs of your tree, and thinning foliage. The tree could also be
affected by rot or crumbling bark around the trunk and roots. Diseases
and insects typically cause these reactions.

There is also the chance for damage to come from problems unrelated
to pests. This includes a soil deficiency, a drought, or damage from
construction and herbicide application. Though a side note, these causes
are good to have awareness of.

If you want to contain and treat the tree pest infestation then you
first need to diagnose it properly. Call in a tree care specialist or an
arborist. They will be able to identify what issue has befallen your
tree and impact on the surrounding area.

After getting a proper diagnosis you can then employ the proper pest management treatment and solve the problem.

Pest Management and Tree Health Services

The outbreak of tree pests is a natural part of the ecosystem and
there’s nothing wrong with the occasional outbreak. However if you
ignore these signs of an outbreak you tend to end up exacerbating the
problem and with a more severe outbreak.

If you have the right guidance you can mitigate the damage that such
an outbreak will cause. Following a guided plan to pest management gives
you the right steps to keep your landscape healthy, prevent the
outbreak of destructive pests, reduce the likelihood of infestations,
and sure that your property stays naturally diverse and strong.

If you’re proud of your garden and want it to be the best in town
then you need to do proper maintenance and continuously evaluate the
ecosystem. When you keep your plants, shrubs and trees healthy they
contribute to the overall health of your garden.

Keep an eye out for pests and take the preventative measures that you
can, including using mulch and irrigation. You can get the help of a
local plant or tree health company to find and purchase what would be
best for your garden.

However if you do suspect that your trees could be infested then it
is important for you to contact a professional who can keep your trees
and landscape safe and protected.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2nwuPQ4

Tree Pest Prevention and Treatment Tips

When things are natural and balanced, the process of nutrient recycling,
decomposition, and plant recycling is helped with the use of bacteria,
microorganisms and insects. When it comes to your yard, these
microorganism and insects manage to coexist to build the perfect
well-balanced habitat. This natural balance can’t be replicated by any
man-made means and when things grow naturally in this manner it leads to
natural pest control.

The ideal environment is created by balancing the amount of healthy
plants with the insects and diseases that naturally show up in the
environment. When one particular aspect outweighs the others then you
can end up with a real problem. We discuss many of these problems on thetreecareguide.com,
but the good news is that there are ways to tackle such as scenario and
re-balance the ecosystem to get everything working properly.

Increase Age Disparity and Species Diversity

Some property owners will keep only a limited species of trees.  Then
there are people with the property to grow their own little woods in
their backyard. Even people with a forest for a back yard are unaware of
how beneficial these are in keeping pests at bay.

These small wooded areas that have a large diversity of tree species
will be less susceptible to outbreaks of pests compared to wooded areas
featuring just one or two species of trees.

Having a diversity in the age of trees also helps reduce the chances
of a pest outbreak. A diversity in age, much like the diversity in
species, will make the ecosystem more complex and stable.

Maintaining a healthy age diversity is likely going to lead to a
natural balance of organisms. This balance works to keep pests away from
young trees. This harmony is created as these pests are eliminated by
the predators and parasites that are already in the area from the older
trees.

Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem as a Pest Prevention Strategy

In a similar vein to pest prevention, there are two key benefit of
keeping the landscape healthy. The first is that the healthier a tree
and its ecosystem is, the less likely it is to succumb to pests. The
second is that, should there be an outbreak, these healthy plants are
better equipped to survive the infestation and respond well to treatment
afterwards.

In order to keep your trees healthy and less stressed you should
ensure that they do not get overcrowded. Much like anything in nature,
when plants are overcrowded they will fight each other for important
nutrients and sunlight. This stresses out the plants and makes them more
likely to fall victim to a pest infestation.

Tree Pest Warning Signs

There are signs and symptoms that your tree is unhealthy. These
include discolored needles and leaves, dieback on the crown or upper
limbs of your tree, and thinning foliage. The tree could also be
affected by rot or crumbling bark around the trunk and roots. Diseases
and insects typically cause these reactions.

There is also the chance for damage to come from problems unrelated
to pests. This includes a soil deficiency, a drought, or damage from
construction and herbicide application. Though a side note, these causes
are good to have awareness of.

If you want to contain and treat the tree pest infestation then you
first need to diagnose it properly. Call in a tree care specialist or an
arborist. They will be able to identify what issue has befallen your
tree and impact on the surrounding area.

After getting a proper diagnosis you can then employ the proper pest management treatment and solve the problem.

Pest Management and Tree Health Services

The outbreak of tree pests is a natural part of the ecosystem and
there’s nothing wrong with the occasional outbreak. However if you
ignore these signs of an outbreak you tend to end up exacerbating the
problem and with a more severe outbreak.

If you have the right guidance you can mitigate the damage that such
an outbreak will cause. Following a guided plan to pest management gives
you the right steps to keep your landscape healthy, prevent the
outbreak of destructive pests, reduce the likelihood of infestations,
and sure that your property stays naturally diverse and strong.

If you’re proud of your garden and want it to be the best in town
then you need to do proper maintenance and continuously evaluate the
ecosystem. When you keep your plants, shrubs and trees healthy they
contribute to the overall health of your garden.

Keep an eye out for pests and take the preventative measures that you
can, including using mulch and irrigation. You can get the help of a
local plant or tree health company to find and purchase what would be
best for your garden.

However if you do suspect that your trees could be infested then it
is important for you to contact a professional who can keep your trees
and landscape safe and protected.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2nwuPQ4

How Do Trees Survive The Winter Months?

Have you ever wondered how trees are able to survive the coldest and harshest weather and come back to life in the spring? In this article, we will take a look at how trees pull it off and learn a little about nature in the process.

How trees prepare for and enter dormancy after pruning to survive the freeze of winter months

What To Do With Trees In The Winter Besides Pruning

Basically, nothing. Trees, for a millennia, have been evolving and adapting to their surroundings and weather patterns. At the onset of cold weather, one of the first signs of dormancy is when a tree’s leaves fall. For those trees, this is the ideal pruning time, as the tree is slowing its energy consumption and will not try to compensate with new growth. So, besides the annual pruning, there isn’t much else to be concerned about. Your tree “knows” what it is doing. To learn more about what you can do to help your trees, visit http://ift.tt/2l2iuPL.

Let’s Discuss What Dormancy Is

Dormancy, in many ways is similar to hibernation. The same way animals slow their bodily functions to dramatically reduce energy consumption, trees stop producing food in the winter months and have no use for the photosynthesis of the leaves. So, to save the energy, the leaves must go. Deciduous trees produce a chemical in its terminal buds (where leaves connect) called abscisic acid (ABA) telling the leaves that it’s time to go.

In both deciduous and coniferous trees, ABA is responsible for the stopping of a tree’s growth. Impeded growth is another attribute of dormancy, reducing even further, the energy consumption of the tree. Now that the tree is in conservation mode, it’s metabolism has also slowed down, utilizing it’s stored food slowly and for vital functions only.

Trees Don’t Entirely Freeze

Even in a low energy, dormant state, trees won’t entirely freeze. Looking much closer, trees prepare for winter on a cellular level. For as incredible as it may seem, part of a tree’s winter survival mechanism happens quietly inside the tree.

By changing the cell membranes to be more pliable, water is allowed to evacuate from the cell to the space between the cells. Thus, the cells shrink, occupying less space and relieving the pressure from the evacuated water.

Starches within the tree are converted to sugar, literally sweetening the liquids within it’s living cells. This process lowers the freezing point of the fluid within the cell, which has already become more pliable. Through this process, living cells neither rupture or are punctured from expanding ice crystals.

Through the previous traits, the tree has a third line of defense at a cellular level. Through cellular dehydration, the cellular liquid becomes viscous, preventing it from crystallizing.

The whole idea here is to keep the tree’s living cells from freezing. As a tree is comprised of and fully utilizes both living and dead cells, the dead cells can and do freeze.

Trees Know when To Exit Dormancy

As the days grow longer and the temperatures begin to warm, trees will spring back to life. If you have done your part, the tree will thrive and provide another year of shade and beauty.

Your part, by the way, is to literally let nature run its course. Once the seasonal pruning is out of the way, and you have protected your tree, let the tree’s natural survival mechanisms do the rest.

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2n7CdkL

Preparing Trees For Winter

When trees go dormant, there are several things you can do to help your tree get through the winter months. Keep in mind that ground freeze, daytime heat and nighttime freeze, snow and ice storms all potentially interact with your tree in a harmful way. Let’s discuss a few of the measures that will get your leafy friends through the coldest months.

Tree Care Maintenance Tips For the Winter Months

Pruning – Prune only when your tree has entered dormancy, when there is no risk for new growth. Late season growth is particularly susceptible, as it has not had the growth time to prepare for the winter months. Ice crystals can potentially form within and rupture the cell walls of new growth. Without proper and timely pruning, die off in the spring would be a likely occurrence.

Hydration – More severe in the early spring (warming sun with still frozen ground), Winter drought occurs when a tree shrub or plant loses more moisture than it can absorb. While we cannot control the weather, we can minimize its effects. Before reaching winter temperatures, laying a thick layer of organic mulch around the tree’s base will act as insulation for the roots. The mulch will also work to prevent runoff and moisture loss, all working to benefit the health and hydration of the tree.

Tip: Leave some clear space around the trunk of the tree to avoid or rather discourage mice from making it their winter home.

Tree Wrapping – Frost Cracking a.k.a. Southwest Injury (this refers to the side of the tree receiving the majority of winter sunlight) is a form of Cold Stress caused by extreme temperature variations from daytime heat to nighttime freeze. This type of stress affects the relation of the inner wood to the outer bark. Over the course of several years, this can lead to major issues for the tree, leaving it vulnerable to infestation, fungal growth and a laundry list of other issues. Tree wrapping is worth considering to get your tree safely to the other side of winter. Your tree care professional can easily evaluate which trees are at most risk, as well as which tree blankets are most effective.

Inspecting Tree Health – The overall health of your trees will ultimately depend upon the attention they are given throughout the year. Accompany your local tree service professional through a spring inspection to assess any damage or potential issues. This “Annual” inspection will give both insight and direction on what to do for the next winter season.

Sever Ice and Snow Buildup – After severe winter weather, it is common to see ice and snow built up on or clinging to the branches of your tree. It is of utmost importance that you DO NOT try to shake it off the tree. Chances are, the branches are frozen and brittle. Shaking them may cause severe damage to the tree or even cause the branches or limbs to fall – now posing a severe hazard. When the weather creates this type of scenario, call your tree professional to evaluate the situation and recommend a sound course of action.

Seek Professional Help As Needed

At times, our trees, the weather and the environment will present us with new and unusual scenarios. When in doubt as to which course to take, call upon your local certified arborist to guide you through it. Seemingly innocuous missteps can lead to dangerous and expensive results. Enjoy the winter season worry free by taking care of your trees – before they need it!

Visit our home page http://ift.tt/294eVIh for more tree care articles.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2mSmF2j