Summer Tree Care

reds tree service arborist memphis summer tree care

After the crazy weather weekend we just had, this blog post almost wrote itself! Storms brought us wind gusts of up to 100mph that rocked Memphis and wreaked havoc on hundreds of trees. It was a pretty shocking reminder of why it's so important to take care of our trees by keeping them healthy even in the hottest summer months. Tree care isn't seasonal, and there are opportunities throughout the year to ensure the trees around us are safe, happy, and strong. With the days heating up, here are Red's Tree Service's Top 5 tree care tips for summer.

1. Storm damage prevention

As last weekend reminded us, Summer is a prime season for thunderstorms and heavy winds. To protect your property from falling tree limbs, it's best to consult with arborists like us to assess the safety of your larger trees. It may be necessary to cable or brace any trees with weak limbs, or it may be necessary to completely remove those weak limbs before they can cause damage. If your trees do sustain damage in a storm, our team at Red's Tree Service can provide emergency tree care. We're able to lift heavy branches or even whole trees from homes, vehicles, or any other structure affected.

2. Make sure summer isn't stressing your trees out

It may sound strange, but if you have a tree begin to shed twigs or leaves during the summer, it could be trying to tell you something. While this is a perfectly normal process in the fall, it’s actually a reaction to stress in the summer. Also known as "summer dormancy" or "summer leaf drop," this phenomenon has a few potential explanations, such as

  • soil compaction
  • saturated soil
  • heat and/or drought
  • or you may have planted a tree that loves the shade in full sun (or the reverse!)

If heat or drought is the culprit, watering the tree properly should help bring it back to health.

3. Watering your trees the right way

While we advise planting new trees in the spring or fall, you can do it in summer - you just have to dedicate yourself to watering constantly. In the first few years, your tree will be using up a lot of energy trying to establish its roots, which causes it to be more vulnerable to heat and droughts. Deep watering means keeping the soil moist down far enough that it includes all the roots, and is crucial to helping the development of root establishment.

It's also crucial to know when to stop! Overwatering is a fairly common tree care mistake. The easiest way to steer clear of overwatering is to avoid causing soggy soil. The goal is to have damp soil that will dry in a short period, allowing enough oxygen into the soil. This can be achieved with a steady stream of water from a garden hose for about 30 seconds.

If you want to be more accurate, you can insert a garden trowel into the ground about 2 inches deep, moving the blade back and forth to establish a small trench. Put your finger in the hole you've dug and check the soil. If it's damp, you do not need to water the tree, but if it's dry, you'll need to.

4. Let mulch retain some moisture

Mulch is an excellent addition to landscaping since it can help to naturally retain moisture. Mulch is especially helpful for new and transplanted trees, as it acts as a natural buffer from drastic temperature changes, both hot and cold. It also prevents soil compaction, keeps the weeds out, and helps to minimize damage from lawnmowers and string trimmers. To mulch around a tree, remove any grass within a 3-10 foot area surrounding the base, and pour natural mulch, such as bark or wood pieces, within this circle. The depth of the mulch should be about 2 to 4 inches, and you don't want the mulch to touch the trunk of the tree. Any piled up mulch will keep moisture against the bark of the tree, and let insects and disease spores into the tree itself, slowly killing it. 

5. Should you prune in the summer?

Summer pruning is most often done for corrective purposes, because these warmer months make it easy to identify any defective limbs. However, use caution when deciding whether or not to prune in the summer.  As a general rule of thumb, you want to limit any summer pruning to dead or dangerous limb removal. Leaves are what keep your trees cool, so removing too many limbs can put your tree into a stressful situation, including exposing it to the intense summer sun, resulting in a condition known as "sun scalding."  Younger, thinner trees are especially susceptible to sun scalding, and excessive heat can actually kill the entire tree or its limbs.

Remember that your trees rely on leaves for food production and shade in the hotter months, so make sure they have what they need to thrive in their environment!

Keeping your trees cool in Memphis

Summer weekends should be for cookouts and pool parties, not spending hours sweating over the kinds of tree services we can provide for you. From tree trimming to stump removal, and just about everything in between, Red's Tree Service has been providing exceptional service in Memphis for over 40 years. We encourage you to kick back and relax this summer, and let our professional team take care of all your tree-related needs. Click here or call 901.848.5323 today for a free quote. Stay safe and stay cool!


Posted by Kevin Smith at 2:08 AM


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