We all enjoy trees in our garden and the local area. Many home gardeners do not realise that trees just like other plants need some basic care. Here is a few tips that ensure the health of your trees.
Regular mulching –
By placing some good quality garden mulch around the base of the tree will ensure that any moisture in the soil will not evaporate to quickly. Also as the mulch breaks down it will add vital nutrients to the top layer of soil, which is where trees have most of their feeder roots. Always be certain not to allow any of the mulch to come into contact with the trunk of the tree, as this could cause collar rot.Regular mulching will also encourage macro organisms such as worms. to thrive in the soil.
Using a good all round liquid fertiliser on a regular basis will ensure that the tree gets all of the nutrients it needs to continue healthy growth. This will also help boost the trees immune system and assist in warding off infection. Use a special fertiliser for Australian Native species, as these trees are prone to toxicity from phosphorus.
Soil De-compaction –
One of the major causes of bad health for trees is soil compaction. Over time the soil becomes unable to breath, this will inhibit air and water freely moving into the top soil. Take a garden fork and step down on it gently so as t goes about 15 centimeters into the ground. Gently move it back and forth so as to create some spaces or air holes in the soil. Do this about a meter away from the trunk of the tree so as to avoid damaging any surface roots.
Check for Bugs –
Check your trees regularly for bugs and signs of insect attack. These are usually pretty obvious and if see any insects eating your trees you will need to act fast. There are a few natural alternatives to pesticides. My favourite is soapy water. Just take three table spoons of dish washing liquid and add it to a bucket of water. Splash the soapy mix all around the leaves of the tree.Alternatively you can use a garden hose spray attachment to reach higher places. This will suffocate the bugs as the detergent dries up. Do not spray detergent on trees in the hot mid day sun. This could burn the leaves.
Use pesticide as a last alternative and always consult the instructions before use.