The chilly Minnesota spring temperatures have faded and the long-anticipated heat of the summer is now arriving. It’s the type of weather that pulls us outside, enjoying the sun, the warm breeze, and the thousands of lake networks. One of the most quintessential summer images is laying out on a blanket, under the shade of a nearby tree’s leafy canopy, enjoying a picnic with our family and friends.
The trees in Minnesota do more than just provide shade, they also protect plants and grasses below, they also help keep the ground cool, and even help reduce our utility bills. You might be asking yourself, how can trees do all of this? The shade provided by the trees protects our homes from the blazing sun. This reduces the overall cost it takes to cool buildings and homes. The canopy does the same thing on the street, it helps keep our city cool and protects plants and grasses from being burnt by the sun.
Trees do so much for us, but what are we doing to protect them? Here are some tips and tricks to keep your trees happy and healthy during the summer season.
Essential Summer Tree Care
Proper tree care is necessary to keep our trees thriving. In Minnesota, we are lucky to have such a diverse climate where many species of trees can thrive. However, not all trees need the same maintenance. We can break tree care down into two categories,
1. Newly Planted Trees
While different species of trees have different growing requirements, most newly planted trees will need the same care. Here are some tree care tips to ensure your new tree will be able to thrive for years to come,
Watering: To help your new tree establish a successful root system it is important to keep the roots well watered. This will provide the tree with enough energy to grow new roots. A general rule of thumb is 10 to 15 gallons of water per week. Be sure to water the roots and soil but not the trunk as this can promote mold growth.
Staking: Providing a sturdy structure to support your new tree will keep it growing straight. This will make sure your tree grows strong.
Trunk Wrapping: You may have seen some trees with plastic coverings or tree guards around the trunk. This is to keep animals from eating the trunk of the young tree or damaging it in any way.
2. Existing Trees
Existing trees typically have an extensive root network to support themselves. Therefore watering is not as important since it can pull from groundwater sources. However, they still benefit from regular maintenance. The following tree care tips will help keep your take care of your trees in the summer season.
Pruning: Pruning is essential to increasing the longevity of your existing trees and can be done to any tree over 1 year old. Not only does it keep your tree growing in the shape you desire, but removing weak branches reduces the chance of limbs snapping off. When a tree limb breaks off it leaves a jagged wound which is difficult for the tree to heal. Fruit trees, evergreen trees, and sap-filled hardwood can all be pruned in the summer months. For other trees, it is best to hold off until the winter or early spring. Remember large limbs should always be removed by a professional. This is to keep both you and the tree safe.
Special Pruning Tip: If your tree has dying limbs or dead spots, these can be removed at any time to protect the health of the overall tree.
Mulching: There are several benefits to mulching, but one of the largest benefits is moisture retention. The mulch protects the soil from drying out in the summer heat. Although existing trees are fairly drought tolerant, they will still benefit from the added protection. Mulch should be 2 to 4 inches deep, any deeper and you run the risk of the mulch repelling water instead of keeping the soil moist.
Seek Help From An Expert
With so many varieties of trees in Minnesota, protecting your trees this summer can take a special touch. The experts at Pro-Tree Outdoor Services have been serving the greater Minneapolis and Twin Cities area for many years. If you have any tree health needs or require a tree or stump removal you can trust our team to get the job done right.