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Best Tree Care and Maintenance Guide for Summertime in Australia

Trees have various requirements and traits. Some may not require upkeep, while others require meticulous routine care. But it doesn’t matter how or what kind of range of measurements they propose – they must be given enough attention.

Summer in Melbourne can be tough on your plants and trees. According to studies, for every 18-degree increase in temperature, the amount of water lost by a tree and the space surrounding it nearly doubles, so your trees may want some extra assistance to stay in good condition during the warmer months.

Keeping our trees healthy and vigorous would not just improve the appearance of our landscape. Trees also have a positive impact on our health. We can benefit from their natural offering of health benefits, like clean and fresh air, by taking care of them. There are numerous ways to safeguard your garden during the hottest months, ranging from mulching and irrigation to pruning and health checks. 

We’ve compiled a list of the top nine pieces of advice from experienced arborists for keeping your yard looking wonderful throughout summer.

1. Health status evaluation

One of the most underappreciated aspects of tree care is health evaluations. A professional arborist assessment of the condition of your trees can assist in identifying any infestations, damage, or potential threats that could endanger you and your property. Summer is an excellent time to get your trees evaluated because the season is fraught with hazards ranging from bushfires and storms to dried-out soil and insects. Numerous unknown elements could be eroding the health and stability of your trees without your knowledge.

2. Proper irrigation

Watering is best done in the evening (after 6 PM) or early in the morning (before 9 AM). Because the sun is low in the sky, less water is wasted on evaporation, allowing it to reach the root systems of your trees more effectively.

While mulching can help regulate soil temperature and keep moisture, you must also ensure that all of your plants and trees receive adequate water. There are numerous techniques for optimizing this procedure. You can separate your plants into groups that require similar water levels, install a sophisticated watering system, or hire our experts to examine your property and offer the best option for you. Whichever option you pick, make sure to start the irrigation process early in the summer so that your plants and trees don’t dry up.

3. Dangerous Tree Removal

Once a tree has been identified as potentially hazardous, you must have it removed as quickly and safely as possible for your own and the community’s protection. The sooner you remove the tree, the sooner you may plant a new seedling or use the space for new endeavors.

4. Stump Grinding

Stump removal is an excellent approach for keeping a healthy garden throughout the summer. The stump with the root system can continue to grow, spread, and take moisture and nutrients from the soil even after a tree is torn down. It also provides space for new saplings, removes an eyesore from your yard, allows more moisture for your other plants, and eliminates any potential tripping hazards.

5. Mulching

Early summer is the best time to get your garden ready for the hot weather as your garden plants require assistance to stay refreshed and retain nutrients. Mulching is a tremendously effective strategy to use in your garden. Mulches help save soil moisture by shading the soil, lowering the amount you need to water by up to two-thirds. Mulches also aid in slowing run-off following heavy rains. They contribute to the formation of soil structure as they decompose and can retain moisture for a prolonged period. 

Benefits of Proper Mulching
  1. It aids in reducing soil moisture loss due to evaporation. 
  2. It aids in the suppression of weed germination and growth. 
  3. It protects roots from severe summer and winter temperatures by insulating the soil. 
  4. Over time, it can improve soil biology, aeration, structure (aggregation of soil particles), and drainage. 
  5. As certain types of mulch disintegrate, it can boost soil fertility. 
  6. It prevents the spread of some plant diseases. 
  7. It reduces the possibility of tree damage from “weed whackers” or the feared “lawnmower blight” and gives planting beds a uniform, well-kept appearance.
Two Major Types of Mulches
  1. Inorganic mulches (stone, lava rock, powdered rubber, geotextile textiles) do not disintegrate and do not need to be replaced regularly. 
  2. Organic mulches (Wood chips, pine needles, hardwood and softwood bark, cocoa hulls, leaves, compost mixtures) decompose at varied rates in the landscape, depending on the substance, climate, and soil microorganisms present. 
Guidelines on Applying Mulch
  1. Determine whether the soil drainage is adequate and whether any plants may be harmed by the mulch selection. Mulches that are widely accessible work well in most landscapes. 
  2. Apply a 2- to 4-inch (5- to 10-cm) layer of mulch to well-drained sites (less if poorly drained). Coarse mulches can be applied significantly deeper without causing any problems. Spread mulch out to the edge of a tree’s crown or further. 
  3. Check the depth of any existing mulch. If there is enough mulch, use a rake to break up any matted layers and renew the appearance. To give color to fading mulch, some landscape maintenance businesses spray it with a water-soluble, vegetable-based dye. 
  4. If mulch is stacked against the stems or tree trunks, pull it back several inches/centimeters to expose the trunk’s base. Wood chips that have been composted can create excellent mulch, especially if they include some bark and leaves. Fresh wood chips can also be used to mulch around existing trees and bushes. Avoid applying fine, non-composted wood chips since the roots may absorb soil nitrogen as the wooing grows.

6. Infestations of pests

Pest checks regularly are a summer strategy for protecting your garden and plants. Many pests are more active during December through February. Beetles, spider mites, scale insects, caterpillars, and whiteflies are among them. Beetles and caterpillars will eat your plants’ and trees’ leaves, while mites and scale insects will drain the moisture. As a result, it’s critical to keep an eye out for these pests and contact your arborist if you need assistance preventing or eradicating an infestation.

7. Tree Pruning

Pruning your trees can strengthen their structure and allow for fresh and healthy development properly. In the summer, the best time to prune your trees is as early as feasible. It can not only help your trees grow, but it can also keep them safe from fires and storms. Summer is the perfect time to prune many different species of trees. Trees that bloom in the spring, trees with overgrown or overhanging branches, trees with infestations, and even trees that hinder a lovely summer view are examples of these.

Common Pruning Solutions in Australia
  1. Crown Lifting: The removal of part of the lowest branches to lift the lower canopy. 
  2. Crown Thinning: The process of reducing canopy density by deliberately eliminating secondary branches from the crown’s interior. 
  3. Crown Reduction: The process of shortening branches and leaders back to suitable smaller internal branches to reduce the height, spread, and volume of a canopy all over. 
  4. Weight Reduction: The process of shortening the length of overgrown, end-heavy lateral branches throughout the canopy. 
  5. Selective Pruning: The process of removing a selection of identifiable branches for a specified cause. 
  6. Clearance Pruning: The process of decreasing or eliminating branches to give physical clearance for a specific aim.
The Three-Cut Pruning Method
  1. Make an incision on the underside of the branch you want to prune. This incision should be made 12 inches out from the branch collar and a quarter to halfway through the limb. When a large limb is removed only from the top, the bark often peels and tears away from the main branch or tree trunk that is left. By making this initial undercut, you can prevent causing damage to the tree.
  2. Now, cut the branch’s topside. This cut should be 6 inches away from your undercut. Continue to cut until the branch snaps. It should snap down to your first cut and fall away cleanly.
  3. After you’ve removed the majority of the branch’s weight, you can cut the limb back to the root collar. Avoid making flush cuts since they cut into the tree’s growth layer and inhibit appropriate recovery. Ensure the lance you’re making is at a 45-degree angle so that water doesn’t collect on the open wound next to the tree, preventing it from healing properly.

8. Fire Safety

There is no need to remind any Australian why fire safety is a must step in the summer. Have a fire safety plan in place from the removal of dry green waste from your property, the cutting of overhanging branches, the trimming of unneeded vegetation, down to the establishment of safe distances between your home and any threats. Never cut back on fire protection on your property. 

9. Summer Storm preparation

Summer storms are common and can be especially damaging to your trees and garden. The most critical aspect of protecting your house from storm damage is to be proactive. Don’t wait until a storm is approaching; instead, you may hire a tree service to check your trees and ensure no possible hazards. It comprises cutting overgrown branches, clearing power lines, crown lifting, and crown thinning. Make sure your trees are safe and secure before the next storm arrives to give you peace of mind.

Final Words

Consider tree care to be an investment. Healthy trees grow in value over time, offer returns by rising property prices, beautifying our surroundings, cleansing our air, and saving energy by providing cooling shade from the summer heat. 

Regular maintenance, aimed to enhance tree health and structural integrity, ensures that a tree’s value will improve in the future and prevents the development of more costly problems.

This article should act as a guide for you to ensure that your trees receive the best and most appropriate maintenance care. You can seek the services of experienced and certified arborists for expert assessment and benefits such as safety, efficiency, competency, and extensive service.

In This Article

Man inspecting a tree
Sprinkler

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