The long hot days of summer may have you wanting to stay inside by the air conditioner, but these are the days when your trees need you the most. Increased hours of sun and summer rain team up for an immense time of growth for trees and shrubs in addition to a higher risk for insect infestation. Below are a few important preventative measures that will help ensure a successful summer season for your greens.

Pruning: Overgrown trees and shrubs are a big problem in summer heat because there is not enough fresh air circulating throughout the branches. A common misconception is that all pruning should happen during dormant periods, meaning the winter. This is false. Summer is a very beneficial time to prune trees, as it can be easier to identify weak branches when they slump from the weight of newly formed leaves. Also, summer is the ideal time to prune flowering trees and shrubs since they have not yet begun to form new buds. The general rule of thumb is to prune flowering trees and shrubs immediately after their blooms die. If you procrastinate, you run the risk of cutting off new buds which will mean fewer flowers for the following year.

Treat for Insects: Unfortunately, with warmer weather comes more pests, and we don’t just mean ticks and mosquitos, but the thousands of different bug varieties that can spread diseases to your beloved plants & trees. Most of the time, identifying an infestation requires a trained eye. Sometimes the bugs themselves are not visible so our Plant Health Care Technicians have to rely on symptoms such as leaf spotting, cracked bark or crown die-off. When it comes to insects, the best thing you can do is get in front of the risk with preventative care before a problem arises. At Emerald Tree and Shrub Care, we are extremely knowledgeable of all insect threats and can prescribe a treatment plan that will keep infestations at bay all summer long.

Provide Adequate Water: Just like humans, plants too require nourishment in the form of H2O during hot summer days. It’s important to make sure your plants and trees receive enough water, especially those that were planted in the last couple of years. An optimal amount of water for a tree or shrub is about 1-2 inches of water each week; just enough to reach all of the roots, both shallow and deep. Be careful not to overwater, as this could cause root rot, wilted leaves due to lack of oxygen or a condition called Edema when the plant cells fill with water and actually burst. Every plant and shrub is different, so it’s important to research the specific needs of your variety or consult with an arborist.

Storm damage prevention: Summer is the season for thunderstorms and heavy winds. To protect your property from falling tree limbs, consult with an arborist to assess the safety of your large trees. Cabling or bracing trees with weak limbs, or removing weak limbs completely, may be necessary.

Tick and Mosquito Control: What good is a backyard if you can’t enjoy it during the summer? To combat insect-borne diseases and viruses like Lyme, West Nile, Powassan and Zika in our own backyards, Emerald offers safe and effective mosquito and tick protection programs. Our treatments are organic and safe for your children and pets. In fact, you can go back to enjoying your outdoor space within 15 minutes of us spraying. For a free estimate complete this form.

Tree Health Diagnosis: Summer give us the best opportunity to identify tree health problems. Diagnosis of the actual cause of the tree malady is a tricky business best left to an expert. As with human illness, prompt detection and treatment can be critical. If you are unsure whether your tree is healthy or can withstand the next storm, consult our professional arborists who can identify and remove hazards as well as treat tree health problems.

Storm Survival Guide

Did you know property owners can be held liable for any damage or personal injury caused by a tree rooted on their property? Especially if there were signs of negligence such as a diseased tree that did not receive proper care.

To prevent any damage or injuries, and to protect yourself from any legal issues, make sure your trees are healthy and regularly inspected by a professional arborist for any damage or internal faults, including hollows, rotting, and cracks before a storm.

Look at your trees for the following warning signs:

  • Wires in contact with tree branches
  • Dead or broken limbs and tree tops that may be hanging or lodged in the tree
  • Cracked stem and branch forks that could cause catastrophic failure of a tree section
  • Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs, or mushrooms growing from the bark which indicate a decayed and weakened stem
  • Peeling bark or gaping wounds in the trunk which indicate structural weakness
  • Fallen or uprooted trees putting pressure on other trees beneath them
  • Tight, V-shaped forks which are much more prone to failure than open U-shaped ones
  • Heaving soil at the tree base is a potential indicator of an unsound root system

Preparing trees for natural disasters is a must and should be done well in advance of the winter storm season.

Keep in mind: Over the years, growing trees will be subject to more wind exposure and become heavier, so they are more prone to mechanical stresses and failure. Larger trees will also affect an increased area should they or their larger limbs fall. This means that power lines, homes, and other structures that might not have been threatened a few years ago might suddenly be under threat by a tree that has grown.