Trees and People – Both deserve some TLC!

TLC - Tender Loving Care; Your plants need some too!

As with our children and our families, trees could benefit from some Tender Loving Care – TLC. Trees are just like all other living organisms – they need water, nutrition, air and space to live healthy and vigorous lives. People need to exercise and eat right and take time out for themselves each day. Trees don’t eat, they can’t move and certainly can’t think, but there are some specific things you can do to help your trees live a long and healthy life.

 For starters, early preventive treatment will help to assure a long and healthy life.  Beginning a program of care at first planting reduces lifetime costs and the necessity for many corrective procedures later in the tree’s life. Here are some specific actions to address with your landscape professional.

  • Root Collar Excavation:  It is very important to remove excess soil near the buttress roots and the root collar of the tree to prevent disease and provide adequate oxygen to the roots.

  • Hydration:  It’s critical for all trees, especially new transplants, to have adequate water. But, over-watering can be just as damaging.  A soil moisture monitoring device or a tensiometer indicates when watering should occur.

  • Fertilization/Soil Analysis:  An application of fertilizer promotes the goal of growth. Nutrients are added to the soil that may be lacking.  Mycorrhizal fungi can also be applied for the root system. Always do a soil analysis – like a blood test for humans – to determine specific nutrient needs. 

  • Selective Pruning: Pruning should be done with great care and always with a specific goal in mind. When pruning, no more than 33% of the crown should be affected at one session. That may mean pruning in several sessions over a period of time.

  • Insect and Disease Inspection:  Regular inspections may reveal pest and disease problems.  Damage from insects and disease may not be obvious - except to a trained eye.  These problems often occur in higher branches and can’t be seen easily from the ground.  When discovered, any necessary pest and disease management techniques should be applied before damage reaches irreversible levels and severely affects the health of the tree.


Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert Andreucci September 03, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Without knowing some more information - health of tree, size of the rootball etc... It is hard to give a definite answer. I general, If you feel you can dig and move a root ball at least 5 times the diameter of the trunk the odds are good the tree will survive. Now is a fine time to transplant; just make sure you continue to water the tree if we have dry weather. The number 1 thing a transplant needs is water. I Hope that helps!
Tara Zrinski September 08, 2011 at 12:43 PM
No chance of dry weather but, I appreciate your advice. We are looking for a good place for it now. I think it will all work out. Thanks a million for your advice.
Peter September 15, 2011 at 12:31 PM
What's a good replacement (for our area) for ash trees? The spring after moving in we had to have 13 dead trees taken down, most of which had signs of a borer type insect. Given the infestation of emerald ash borer in PA, and the number of ash trees on my property, i'm trying to figure out what a good replacement is.
Robert Andreucci September 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Great question! I plan on doing an article on the EAB. The answer to your question depends on what the planting area is like and what you expect from the tree. My first rule of tree care is "Right Tree, Right Place". I general, I like the trees in the White Oak group - swamp white oak is a good specimen. (Red Oaks can get Bacterial Leaf Scorch).
Peter September 29, 2011 at 04:59 PM
ohio state university extension bulletin 924 seems a good reference, i'm checking it out and hopefully do some plating next year.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »