Tree Maintenance Tips for the Summer Months

Judie Docs, Executive Officer – CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA) ncbia.com

Homeowners often take advantage of shade from trees on their property to enjoy outdoor activities during the summer. However, not all summer days are picture-perfect. Very hot days can dry the soil, and summer storms can lead to downed trees, causing power outages or property damage. As you settle into your lawncare routine this summer, consider the following steps to help maintain your trees and how to approach tree work if a severe storm hits.
Water Regularly
Watering your trees during the warm summer months is essential so they can stay healthy. A professional arborist can tell you how often and how much you should hydrate your trees. Generally, the best time to water your trees is in the early morning or evening so the water can absorb in the ground better than during the hottest part of the day.

Prune as Needed
The heat of the summer can take a toll on your trees and pruning can add to the stress. If you see limbs that are dead or broken, you should remove them. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, any trees that flower in mid-to-late summer should be pruned in winter or early spring.
Stay Safe After a Summer Storm
The confusion following a major storm can result in the removal of trees that could be saved or the improper weakening of a tree that can reduce its life. Homeowners can lose money, as well as the beauty and practical benefits of their shaded trees, with poor advice and the services of fly-by-night tree “experts.”

Tree work can be extremely dangerous. A professional tree care company should be used when:

  • a tree is large and requires high climbing or the use of a chain saw;
  • a tree is leaning on a structure or entangled with another tree;
  • wires are involved or structures are endangered;
  • major repair of the tree is necessary;
  • a large limb is split or broken but still attached to the tree;
  • when you do not have the proper tools, knowledge, or health to do tree work.

It is wise to get more than one estimate. When removals are necessary, it is important to have a clear understanding of who removes the limbs and debris from the property and whether or not the price includes stump removal and clean-up. Your tree will have value as firewood or chips, which should be considered in the estimate.

For more tips on landscaping and home maintenance, contact the NCBIA, or visit nahb.org/consumers.

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