The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
One of the joys of living in the countryside is being surrounded by beautiful trees. They not only add color and beauty, but also greatly increase the value of your property. Even replacing a small tree can cost hundreds of dollars. Therefore, only by protecting your investment and cultivating trees can they be passed on from generation to generation. Here are 10 tips for keeping trees healthy.

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1. Back up. The good news is that, in most cases, trees can live and die on their own. After all, the beautiful women you saw in the countryside with a history of hundreds of years did not come through a lot of fuss and dress up.

2. Look where you dig. Construction may be the biggest killer of mature trees, especially when heavy equipment is involved. Consider the case of a couple in Missouri who designed the driveway of their new house around a 200 year old glory tree. They paved the driveway and the trees died soon.

Even though it seems that the construction is carried out relatively far away from the trees, remember that the roots can extend two to three times more than the branches. For a mature tree, this means that even heavy equipment running 60 feet away will compact the soil and damage the roots, causing the tree to die slowly in months or years.

Therefore, whether you are laying driveways or building sheds, take the time to discuss tree protection with any contractor and specify where heavy equipment can and cannot go. It is better to mark the area around the trees during construction. Loft in an area at least 10 feet from the tree's drip line (that is, the distance the branch extends).

3. No parking. Avoid parking vehicles under trees. Over the years, the soil has become compacted and can slowly kill trees.

4. Knock carefully. Mowers and weeders (power line trimmers) can be enemies of trees. They can cut bark and weaken trees, making them ideal entry points for diseases.

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5. Regular coverage. It is important to cover around the roots (except for trees in forest land). Apply one to four inches of wood chips or crushed bark, pine needles, chopped autumn leaves, cocoa bean shells, straw, or other biodegradable mulch. The covering shall start from an inch or two of the trunk and extend to the drip line or at least 3 feet from the bottom of the trunk. Covers not only protect your trees from lawn equipment, but also inhibit weeds and maintain soil moisture.

6. Do not over water or fertilize. In most cases, a mature tree needs little help with food and water. Although trees planted in the past three or four years have benefited from additional fertilization and watering, big trees may actually be damaged by fertilization and excessive water. They can also be damaged by the use of lawn and garden herbicides - another good reason to place large circles of mulch so that you don't pour chemicals into at least some of the roots.
In the arid west, new homeowners who install sprinkler systems often unknowingly begin to water trees accustomed to dry conditions, soak the soil and deprive them of the oxygen they are accustomed to. This can cause trees to get sick or even die.

7. Trim. Benign neglect is also useful in pruning. Mature trees rarely need too much, except to remove dead or damaged branches and trim any suckers that grow at the bottom. The sparse and crowded growth on the mature branches (especially the branches of fruit trees), called water buds, should be pruned regularly, and any branches with friction or problems should also be pruned regularly.

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8. Know your trees and diseases. Although your trees don't need much help from you, pay close attention to them. Many diseases are specific to certain species, so to diagnose a problem, you need to understand the tree first. A good reference book can help.

9. Take away your property. Walk around your property regularly and observe your trees carefully. Check the leaves and branches for any insects or signs of insect activity, dead branches, mushrooms growing on or around the roots, and strange spots on the leaves.

10. Step back and enjoy. In your land, there are few things that can bring you so much beauty and happiness with so little labor as your mature trees.

December 07, 2022

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