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General Tree Maintenance

Featured Products: 
Bypass Pruner and Bypass Lopper
Anvil Pruner and  Anvil Lopper
Pole Tree Trimmer

Tree care doesn't have to be a highly technical or complicated subject, since most trees fend for themselves pretty well. By following some "tree basics" it's easy to promote healthy growth in trees. It’s easiest to break down maintenance needs into three basic categories: Watering, Fertilizing and Pruning.

Watering: Slow is better
Thoroughly water a tree's entire root zone during periods of drought with the equivalent of one-inch of water, once every week or two, depending on soil type. Apply water slowly to prevent runoff and ensure that the water reaches the tree’s deep root system.

Fertilizing: Deep root vs. surface application
Trees have been traditionally fertilized by creating holes in the root zone and pouring in dry fertilizer. Some arborists use probes to inject liquid fertilizer into the root zone area. The placement of fertilizers need to be where the tree can get them, so don't place them too deep --- most tree roots are within 12" to 18" of the lawn surface. As always, remember to follow all instructions on the fertilizer packaging.

Pruning: Trimming trees at the right time and place
Because there are so many different types of trees, it’s impossible to list every pruning technique here. Here are a few helpful suggestions for the most common types of trees:

1. The best rule is to always trim flowering trees within 3 weeks of when they finish blooming. That should prevent you from inadvertently removing buds containing next year's flower show.

2. For live branches, use a bypass-style hand pruner or bypass lopper, as this type of cut promotes healthy re-growth. For dead branches, use an anvil-style hand pruner or anvil lopper as this will seal the end of the dead branch.

3. Avoid “topping” a tree (very common practice among Silver Maples) when the tree becomes too big. Topping creates a "hat rack" appearance and forever ruins the branching structure of the tree. It’s best to move or remove a tree all together than to top it.

4. Never use a ladder to trim branches that are out of reach from the ground. A sturdy pole tree trimmer with a long telescoping handle is the best way to trim branches that are out of reach. Most pole tree trimmers have both a saw feature and lopper blade to cut through thick branches.

5. While bark provides a tough protective layer around the trunk of the tree, avoid using a string-line weed-whacker against the bark, as it can split the bark and make the tree susceptible to destructive fungi. It’s best to mulch around the base of the tree to avoid having to cut the grass and weeds around it.