It is essential that you keep on top of the maintenance of any trees or hedges you may have, not only will this improve the overall health and condition of the tree, it will save you money and prevent any damage or health issues from developing in the future. Regular pruning and dead wooding may sound simple but it needs to be done at the right time of year and with the right equipment to ensure that the following year has a healthy growth, this is especially important with fruit producing trees.
Most trees should be pruned annually, especially in the early life of a tree. Benefits of pruning are abundant and will save you money in the long run as it will remove broken branches which are damaging the tree, any branches that have become infected with insects and branches that are starting to compete with the leader and therefore becoming problematic. As the tree ages the pruning technique changes somewhat and without a full knowledge of the stage of the tree you may not get the full potential from pruning the tree correctly.
When to prune is a common question but it doesn’t come with an easy answer, this depends purely on the type of tree or hedge and pruning at the wrong time of year may restrict the potential growth, flowering or fruit production for that year. A thorough knowledge of the type of tree is needed prior to pruning.
Watering trees isn’t as common as watering other plants however if you are planting a young tree in the first few years you need to keep it hydrated, especially if you are enjoying a hot and dry summer period. You need to find the right balance between under-watering and overwatering as both can harm the tree. The soil beneath the tree should feel moist but not wet,this is enough to reach all of the newly developing roots.
Placing a layer of mulch across the area, but avoid touching the tree will keep the soil moist for longer periods and help your tree to grow.
After the first few years you will no longer have to water your tree as it will have established its own roots and will have the ability to find water and survive dry conditions itself.
Diseases and Pests
Trees are currently at an increased risk of diseases and pests, both of which are easily transferred from tree to tree through cross contamination. Regular maintenance by a tree surgeon will ensure that these diseases and pests are identified and therefore treated. You should be aware of any symptoms of deadly tree diseases for your tree species and if spotted, report to the Forestry Commission.