How Can You Take Care of Your Old Tree? (An Arborists Advice)

February 16, 2022

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Mature trees provide shade as well as several environmental advantages. While they require different care than young trees, they still need to be watered, pruned, disease-free, and protected regularly.

Mature trees develop slower than younger trees and are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Older trees renew wood slowly and are more prone to mortality if they are harmed or have significant pruning wounds. They require adequate tree care services to make sure they're in tip top shape.

taking care of an old tree

How Do You Keep A Mature Tree Healthy?

EXAMINE REGULARLY

Inspect the tree at regular intervals and check for decay, illness, or injury of any kind. You also need to check the tree trunk for bends and breaks. It helps resolve any such issues at the earliest through preventive actions.

REGULAR PRUNING AND TRIMMING 

To make the tree feel lighter, make sure to trim any undesired or dead limbs. These mechanisms also aid the tree's ability to generate new branches and maintain its upright position. Precautionary must be taken while pruning cause it can damage the tree if done excessively.

WATERING

It's a common misconception that aged trees don't require as much water as young and developing trees; however, this is not the case. Old trees require enough watering at regular intervals and according to weather conditions to grow in their environment.

GET RID OF THE COMPETITORS

Trees have a hard time surviving in regions where they have to compete for resources with plants like poison ivy and Cuscuta, so get rid of them before they form deep roots in the soil.

SOIL PRESERVATION

If the earth becomes inappropriate for the tree to survive, all of this effort will be no. As a result, attempt to keep the soil's pH balanced. Appropriately apply fertilizers and other important ingredients to the soil. If you don't have sufficient understanding in this area, get advice from an expert.

CONTROL OF PESTS

One of the greatest damage to the tree is pests. They deplete the tree's nutritional reserves, leaving it lifeless and shattered. When looking for pests, keep a close eye on your tree and thoroughly examine the branches, roots, and leaves.

bracing and cabling a tree for stability

Can A Half-Dead Tree Be Saved?

A diseased and dying tree can be salvaged and brought back to life if the warning signals are recognized early. To save an ill and dying tree, you must follow four stages.

  1. Determine if there is a problem and make necessary changes.
  2. Remove 30% of the tree's leaves.
  3. Implement a watering schedule.
  4. Apply fertilizer

1. DETERMINE IF THERE IS A PROBLEM AND MAKE NECESSARY CHANGES.

Look out for some of the most common reasons for a tree's deterioration which include

A. Environmental change - A tree can adapt to the most reasonable surroundings and flourish as a result. It might be problematic if their surroundings change abruptly.

  1. Compacted soil – Has the environment surrounding the tree's base lately changed? Have you paved the space and begun driving the card beneath the tree, compacting the soil? The tree's roots may take in less water and oxygen.
  2. Contamination - This can occur due to oil spills or other chemicals at the tree's base or pouring Draino or other chemicals down a drain without realizing the tree roots are hooked into that drain.

B. Infestation with pests indicates that your tree has been unwell for some time. The sap is a tree's natural defense against burrowing pests. A healthy tree releases a large amount of sap, which drowns prospective assailants. When a tree is sick, these guys can get inside and aggravate the situation.

C. Disease - Disease can attack in various ways, but the most common cause is a fungus or bacterium. There are several illnesses that damage trees.

2. REMOVE 30% OF THE TREE'S LEAVES.

This is a HUGE deal. It's like giving the tree medicines by eliminating 30% of the tree's foliage. This is like removing 30% of the weight from a laboring truck to travel up a slope. It provides a huge boost to the tree because it can now concentrate its efforts on the remaining branches.

A shortage of water caused by drought is one of the most common causes of tree disease. It will thrive on a lot less water after mild pruning.

3. IMPLEMENT A WATERING SCHEDULE.

Depending on the size of the tree, every two weeks or so, you may need to keep the hose at the base of the tree running very gently overnight. This will saturate the soil and allow the tree to absorb much water. Smaller trees will use less water and will recover much more quickly.

4. APPLY FERTILIZER

This will help provide adequate nutrients for the tree and hasten the growth and recovery rate.

old tree that may be dying

Signs That Point To A Dying Tree

 By observing the indicators, you may identify if a tree is sick or dying. Some of the signs exhibited by a dying tree include:

  • STICKS ARE FOUND ALL OVER THE GROUND.

When a tree consistently drops sticks, it's a solid indicator that it's not in good condition. A healthy tree will have flexible branches and twigs that are less likely to fall off. If you notice broken branches or twigs on the ground near a tree, you should get it inspected by a tree expert. 

  • THE BARK ON THE TREE IS FALLING OFF

If your tree's bark is flaking and peeling, it isn't getting enough nutrition. A tree, like a human, has skin, which is the bark. Just as the state of tree bark can indicate tree disease, human skin disorders can reveal underlying ailments. 

  • YOU CAN SEE FUNGUS AND ROT

 Fungus and rot on trees is usually negative sign. If you notice one of these, you must act quickly to rescue the tree. Unfortunately, if the damage is severe, the tree will be unable to be saved.

Some rot and fungal treatments exist. However, they may not be worth attempting if the tree is already dead. If the fungus threatens to spread, the tree will have to be cut down. 

  • THE TREE IS LEANING TO ONE SIDE. 

 A leaning tree should not exist unless it grows at an angle. The roots of a tree that begins to keel over may be dead or injured. You might support the tree to keep it from falling completely, but don't expect it to be saved. A tree is already dead when it leans over most of the time. 

  • TERMITES OR OTHER INVASIVE INSECTS

Numerous pests are known to attack trees. Termites, beetles, and ants are just a handful of the pests that can kill a healthy tree. You might be able to stop them before they succeed if you catch them early.

However, if the tree's stability has been jeopardized by too much damage, it is usually best to remove it. This way, it won't fall on your property and crush something else.

Taking care of mature trees is vital since they aid in environmental purification and aesthetics. However, it can be tedious having to do so by oneself; thus, it is crucial to employ a professional to assist you. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of trimming a tree is about $432 - $1,323.

 

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