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Tree Inspections During Summer: Keep Your Landscape Healthy

Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Greater Providence area

Trees covering sun during sunset

Bright summer days may be beautiful, but they can also put a lot of strain on your trees. Knowing how to care for your landscape when the weather heats up is important to keeping your property vibrant and healthy all year long. In this guide, we’ll talk about how to inspect and protect your trees during the hot summer months. 

How Can You Tell if a Tree is Stressed?

Knowing how to tell if your tree is stressed is the first step to keeping it in good condition. The sooner you can spot the signs of a struggling plant, the sooner you can take action to identify and address the underlying problem. Some of the most common signs of tree stress include:

  • Premature Leaf Drop: If you notice your tree shedding leaves earlier than usual, it might be a response to drought conditions or other stress factors. This early leaf drop is a survival mechanism, helping the tree conserve water.
  • Discoloration: Leaves changing color out of season, particularly turning yellow or brown, can indicate nutrient deficiencies or water stress.
  • Wilting Leaves: One of the first signs that a tree is stressed is wilting leaves. This can occur when trees are not getting enough water or are struggling to absorb moisture from the soil.
  • Poor Growth: If your tree is struggling to survive, it won’t have what it needs to grow as healthily as it should. Slow growth or abnormally small leaves are a couple of indications that your tree may be stressed.

Summer Tree Care Tips

From intense heat and drought to increased pest activity, trees experience a lot of different stressors during the summer. In order to keep your landscape in the best condition possible, you’ll need to adjust your tree care routine to address these unique challenges—and these summer tree care tips can help. 

Water Thoroughly

One of the most critical aspects of summer tree care is adequate watering. Trees rely on consistent moisture to support their growth and withstand heat stress. Here’s how to ensure your trees receive the hydration they need:

  • Check Your Species: Not all trees are the same. Some species need a lot more water than others, so be sure to research the types of trees you have to build a watering schedule that suits their needs. 
  • Water Deeply: Provide a deep soak rather than frequent shallow watering to encourage deep root growth. This helps trees access water stored deeper in the soil during dry periods.
  • Time it Right: Water early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation and ensure maximum absorption by the roots.
  • Apply Mulch: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree (but not touching the trunk) to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Treat for Pests

Summer brings not only warmth and sunshine but also increased activity from various pests that can threaten the health of your trees. Pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and beetles are more active during this season and may feed on your tree and cause additional stress. To keep pests away from your trees during the summer, try:

  • Pruning Infested Branches: Remove and destroy branches or foliage heavily infested with pests to prevent further spread. Pruning can also improve airflow and sunlight penetration, reducing favorable conditions for pests.
  • Introducing Natural Predators: Encourage natural predators of pests, such as ladybugs or birds, by creating a habitat that attracts them to your garden. Relying on natural predators is a simple solution that can yield great results. 
  • Organic Treatments: Consider using organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap, which may be effective against pests while minimizing harm to beneficial insects and the environment.

While regular monitoring and proactive management can often control common pests, consider professional pest control services if you notice severe or persistent infestations that threaten the health of your trees. Professionals can provide targeted treatments and ongoing tree care to effectively manage complex pest issues while preserving tree integrity.

Improve Soil Quality

Healthy soil forms the foundation for strong, resilient trees. During the summer, ensuring your trees have nutrient-rich soil can enhance their growth and ability to withstand environmental stressors. Some ways you can improve soil quality include:

  • Soil Testing: Conduct a soil test to determine its pH level and nutrient content. Adjust soil pH as needed to create optimal conditions for tree growth.
  • Composting: Incorporate compost into the soil to increase organic matter content and provide essential nutrients. Compost enriches soil fertility and promotes beneficial microbial activity.
  • Aeration: Aerating compacted soil improves root growth and enhances water infiltration. Use aeration tools to loosen soil around the tree’s root zone.
  • Fertilization: Based on soil test results, supplement with balanced fertilizers to replenish essential nutrients that may be lacking in the soil.

Professional Tree Care During Summer

Caring for your trees through heat and drought can be pretty difficult, especially if your landscape is already showing signs of stress. While the tips above can certainly make a difference, there are some circumstances where professional help is the best option. Experts know how to help your trees rapidly recover, so if your tree is in poor condition and you’re having trouble getting them back on track, it may be time to reach out to an arborist. 

Tree Inspections During Summer: Keep Your Landscape Healthy in Eastern Massachusetts

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