We are coming upon the time when drought is a concern in parts of the country and care for trees is super critical. Trees provide shade for our homes and can reduce our energy bills so keeping them well cared for is an investment for our homes. According to the experts at Davey (see the above infographic), the best way to water your trees is with a drip system. It saves water and prevents fungal problems compared to trees that are “sprinkled” regularly. Young trees in particular, need regular and deep watering to help them establish deeper root systems. Mulch your trees well to help conserve water, but do not “volcano” your mulch as that can damage a tree at the base. Drought symptoms include wilting, curling, and browning leaves or limb death from the top and outsides of a tree moving inward, suckering at the base of the tree, and extremely heavy seed production.
Pruning My Honey Locust
Davey recently came out to prune my trees and they have made a beautiful difference in my back garden. I have this Old Man Honey Locust which we call the “Stick Tree” because it is always dropping dead sticks on our heads, particularly after a storm or winter, but really any time he likes. He hangs droopy and full of dead branches in the back garden and I was worried that perhaps the flagstone path surrounding the tree injured it somehow. When the Davey tree experts reviewed the tree on their initial assessment visit they reassured me that the tree is acting normally for an old man and has little to do with the pathway below. We could cut him down, but he still has lots of life and shade left to give, so the trick is to keep our old guy comfortable until his last breaths. Pruning all the deadwood out and lifting up the heavier branches on a tree that has never been trimmed regularly should revitalize him and he should continue on for many years. A good haircut makes me feel great too, so I approved of the work for Old Man Honey Locust and we began the process.
After my approval, a pruning team came out on the scheduled day to trim the tree. You can see the certified tree experts from Davey Tree in the photo above, from left to right, Salvador, Brad, Brandon, and Cesario. They were fantastic. Salvador climbed up the tree first (below) and I was totally impressed, he’s just like Batman climbing buildings in Gotham City. Brandon climbed up next while Cesario and Brad stayed on the ground to check ropes and make sure all was clear for the limb drops. Safety is very important to the Davey team – they have daily morning meetings on safety, annual training on safety and technique, and regular checks on their certifications.
While they were here we reviewed some issues with the tree. For example, it’s an older tree that is intersecting other trees in the garden, so can be sensitive to fungus. My honey locust has scale, a condition where little bugs infect the stems with bumps, and is doing okay but will need a little care as he grows older (don’t we all). They trimmed all the dead limbs away which helped the look of the tree tremendously and should prevent a lot of those dead sticks that kept falling from injuring anyone.
Care for trees involves making sure that your trees are pruned properly, watered regularly, and planted in the right location from the beginning. Before planting, for instance, do some research and make sure you have the right tree for the right location by consulting with an expert arborist. Pruning is too challenging for me to do on my own, so bringing in Davey to prune and trim helped me a lot. If you would like to learn more about pruning trees and when it is best to do it, watch the video at the bottom of this post (or go to this LINK).
One of the benefits of having the Davey team come in is I did not have to climb trees, clean up the enormous post-trim mess (above and below), or even break a sweat. They did it for me, then ground the branches into mulch. Special thanks to the experts from Davey – Salvador, Brad, Brandon, and Cesario – for coming out to take care of my Old Man Honey Locust. You can see by the “after” photo (below) that he appreciates it as much as I do.