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If you have mature trees in your garden, then keeping them healthy is a priority. Firstly, you should know what sort of tree it is and what it needs – if you buy your trees from The Tree Center you can always ask for advice – and then take it from there.
Protect your roots
Your trees’ roots are essential to their health. You need to focus on the critical root zone (CRZ) of each tree. The CRZ is the imaginary circle drawn on the ground that follows the circumference of the branch spread.
In reality the roots extend way beyond the CRZ and they’re often not arranged symmetrically. But the CRZ is the area that’s the most sensitive to damage, or sudden changes to the soil. Don’t compact the soil here, don’t park cars, use weedkillers, or let the kids dig holes; just be gentle here.
Protect the tree bark
Your trees’ bark is their shield, it protects them from insects, fungi, water loss and minor injuries. It’s easy to damage bark, though; here are some common hazards:
- garden sprinklers – if your sprinklers hit the same patch of bark over and over again, the bark may become damaged, so make sure this doesn’t happen;
- branches rubbing it – as you can imagine, this can easily cause injuries to the bark, so either secure “rogue” branches or prune them;
- lawnmowers and weed-whackers – make sure you keep them well away from tree trunks, and
- vehicles – cars can drive into them, or park in the CRZ. Remove any branches that could be damaged and place reflectors on the trunk so it can be seen at night.
Water your trees effectively
If your trees are mature they’ll be able to survive most weather conditions, but a long drought may test them. Making sure they’re healthy to start off with will help them to cope with rough patches.
Don’t water them during the dormant period, save this for high summer or a drought. When you do water your trees, give them a lot of water infrequently, rather than smaller drinks every day or two.