By Nancy Penrose

With summer now here, we have to consider how best to care for our trees. If a tree is not set up to properly withstand the hot summer months, it could harm its growth or cause the tree to fail entirely.

Some people automatically assume that because it’s summer, their landscape will look wilted and dry. Well, if you follow these tips you can reverse that and have healthy, beautiful trees throughout the summer.

  • Mulching

If you haven’t had the chance yet to spread mulch around your trees, the beginning of summer is an ideal time. Mulch helps keep the moisture in the soil and roots, cuts down on weed encroachment and can stabilize soil temperatures. So, mulch can go a long way toward combatting the effects of the summer heat.

  • Fertilizer

On a similar note, fertilizer can be very important for ensuring trees have the necessary nutrients to keep growing. A younger tree in particular should be fertilized to ensure it keeps growing despite the high-stress temperatures of summer. If you are concerned if your tree needs fertilization or not, or are not sure of the right fertilizer to apply, consult your local tree care expert.

  • Pruning

The first piece of advice about pruning in the summer is: don’t. Pruning leaves and branches is generally best done in the dormant seasons of early spring and autumn when the tree is in a period of growth. Pruning in the summer can lead to exposing the tree to excessive heat and can stunt the growth of the pruned area.

That being said, there is never a bad time to prune off a dead or diseased limb. Doing so helps to ensure the health of the tree, not to mention the safety of people and structures around it. So keep an eye out for damaged or diseased tree limbs and be ready to prune them.

  • Tree Inspection

That brings us to the next point: getting your tree inspected. A tree inspection will point up difficulties you may not be aware of, but a certified arboreal expert will find right away. If you suspect your tree may have a disease, damage or pest problem, getting it inspected is vital. It is also a good idea to get your tree regularly inspected, and the beginning of summer is an ideal time to ensure that any problem is resolved before hot and dry weather conditions set in.

  • Storm Damage Prevention

A problem you might not at first consider is preparing for summer storm conditions. Increased risk of thunderstorms and heavy wind conditions is something to get ready for. Consult an arborist to ensure your tree doesn’t have any limbs that could more easily break off in a storm, and to find out if the tree could use extra support to withstand any storms.

  • Shading

Summer weather is hot, but certain conditions can make it even hotter for your trees. Younger trees would benefit from having shading to keep them cooler. Also, keeping landscaping materials near trees with the mid-summer sun beading down on them can mean too much heat for your tree. Keep shading in mind to ensure a younger tree can make it through the summer weather.

  • Irrigation

Last, but most certainly not least, is irrigation. Proper watering is essential during the summer heat for most trees. Younger trees need more water during summer, so consult an arborist to find out how much water your trees need. While it is possible to overwater and cause problems for your trees, summer is the time to ensure your trees have enough water to continue to grow and flourish. So, find out how much water your trees need for your local weather conditions.

Taking the time to keep your trees healthy this summer will result in a beautiful and thriving landscape!

Nancy Penrose is the owner of Big Trees Inc., located in Snohomish, WA in the Seattle area. The company is one of the largest tree nurseries in the Seattle area with over 120,000 trees available in over 300 varieties. They not only deliver young trees, but also mature trees in a wide range of sizes. Some types of trees available include spring flowering, deciduous, evergreen, and privacy trees. The company also does tree transplanting including large trees. Their blog can be seen at https://bigtreesupply.com/blog/ or http://arboristblog.com/. They can be reached at 360-563-2700.