A tree in your garden or a hedge bordering your perimeter often ends up being a focal point; the first thing that will attract the attention of neighbours and visitors. If you don’t keep on top of caring for your trees and hedges they can soon become unruly and no matter how much time you spend taking care of your lawn and bedding areas they will be blighted by an untidy hedge.
Ways in which you should take care of your trees and hedges varies both throughout the seasons and depending on the type of trees. Fruit and blossoming trees for instance should only be pruned at certain times during the year to ensure a bountiful crop year after year.
Although you may be tempted to trim your trees during the autumn in order to prepare for the winter ahead this should be avoided. Damp weather and low temperatures and the prominence of fungi spores during autumn may increase the risk of disease for your trees. The best time for most trees to be pruned is actually at the end of winter, approaching spring. It is imperative that this is done before any buds start appearing on the branches otherwise you run the risk of cutting these off.
When pruning your trees the easiest way to keep the growth consistent and maintainable in the following years is to maintain the natural shape of the tree. Younger trees, and species such as the weeping willow will require more of a dedicated pruning schedule. Although it is tempting not to prune trees that have seen growth slowdown, or ones which you would like to grow faster you will find that a regularly pruning will stimulate the growth of the branches and can offer a fuller tree.
One of the most important tree tips you should consider is just how to cut the branches off the tree. Pruning itself is actually “wounding” the tree, a wound which the tree seals before growing a new branch elsewhere. If you prune your tree in the wrong manner you may find that future growth slows. Avoid cutting too close to the trunk of the tree where you may potentially damage the branch collar or the branch bark ridge.
Winter of course can be a particularly dangerous period of time for trees, especially during periods of heavy storms where damage and uprooting may occur. If your tree gets damaged it is imperative that you address this as soon as possible. Treating minor damage may save the tree’s life, any major damage which may pose a risk such as uprooting should be addressed by a professionally trained arborist (we suggest using treesurgeon.org.uk if you’re looking for a local arborist).
Regularly check your trees for signs of pests or disease, especially if you’re in the locality of a prominent pest or disease issue, or have a tree prone to diseases. Being on top of the potential threats may help you nip any problems in the bud before they take hold or spread throughout the garden. The Forestry Commission and related official bodies within your area will keep you up to date with the latest threats through releases on their website.