How to avoid some common tree care problems using simple methods (also known as cultural practices)

Many problems that trees in the landscape experience are avoidable. Being aware of a few basic concepts can save property owners and managers a lot of frustration (and money).

Here are a couple of tree maintenance tips to help keep your trees and shrubs just a little healthier:

  • If you are experience recurring tree or shrub leaf-disease issues, make sure that you are removing all the fallen leaves from the area. When a plant has leaf diseases, the dormant stages of these diseases will often survive the winter (overwinter) on fallen leaves. When new leaf growth begins in the spring, rainstorms splash the dormant disease structures from the fallen leaves onto the new leaves. This transfers the infection to the new leaves.
  • Don't pile mulch around the trunk of the tree. This can lead to a number of problems, such as fungal infections and lack of soil oxygen. Mulch volcanoes are to be avoided.
  • Make sure that your irrigation system is not watering the foliage of your plants. Having consistently wet leaves can lead to outbreaks of foliar diseases.
  • Protect the trunks of your trees and shrubs from lawn mower and string trimmer damage. When lawn mowing equipment or string trimmers make contact with tree trunks, the bark can be damaged, affecting the flow of water and nutrients within the tree.