April 21, 2018

Tips and Techniques for Tree Care in Fort Worth, TX

Choose the Right Tree

An important part of tree care is selecting the right tree and planting it in the right area. In the Fort Worth area, for example, trees like the American Elp and Arizona Cypress are recommended since they are tough and good at withstanding drought and poor soils, while oak trees bring majesty to the landscape. Since trees are likely to live way longer than those who plant them, it is a good idea to spend some time in choosing them so that they thrive well.

Some issues that arise due to poor tree choices or their poor positioning are as follows: trees planted under utility lines tend to suffer mutilation as they mature; trees on the south side of the house will block the winter sunlight; while no tree on the north side makes the property vulnerable to the icy winter winds.  These issues could be solved by, for example, planting short flowering trees that don’t run into the overhead utility lines. Large trees that spread out on the west, south-east and south-west side will offer cooling shade in the summer and not obstruct the sunlight in winter.  And you can plant evergreen trees on the north side to obstruct some of those cold winter winds.

You should also focus on why you’re planting the tree and the purpose behind. Some are planted for aesthetic purposes, while others for privacy. In the Fort Worth area trees act as great sources of shade and help cut down energy consumption due to their cooling effect. However, since the location and weather have a significant effect on the tree, keep factors like the height and spread of the tree, the sun exposure, and the soil conditions in mind when choosing the right tree. For answers to your tree questions, contact S & P Tree Service of Fort Worth.

Finding a Healthy Tree

We suggest that you inspect your tree on purchase or delivery as it would add to the benefits you can draw from it.

  • Balled and bur lapped trees (B&B): don’t accept a plant with a broken ball, make sure the soil ball is firm and the trunk is securely tied. Make sure to carry B&B plants by the soil ball and not the stems, branches or the trunk.
  • Bare-root tree: make sure it has abundant root growth with numerous small roots, and is fibrous and has good pigmentation.
  • Containerized and potted tree: since roots can circle around the container edge and form circling roots, make sure to cut these before planting them. Avoid trees that are root-bound in the can and make sure to remove the can, pot or basket when planting.

Additionally, when choosing trees along streets and parks in the Fort Worth area make sure that the trunk diameter is substantial.  Other factors to look for are:

  • Bright, healthy barks
  • Well-developed and strong leaders
  • Good trunk taper
  • Spacing between branches, 8-12” for most species
  • Branches well-distributed around trunks
  • Limbs and trunks free of mechanical injury or insects
  • Wide-angled crotches for strength

Importance of Mulching

Mulching is important for freshly planted trees and is valuable for its health and care. It has some significant properties that promote tree growth, such as:

  • Retains water that helps keep the roots moist
  • Insulates the soil, which helps to maintain a buffer from the cold and hot temperatures
  • Suppresses weed growth and prevents the roots from competing for resources
  • Prevents soil compaction
  • Reduces damage caused by the lawn mower

Keeping the Fort Worth landscape in mind, you can add mulch to the base of the tree by removing a 3-10 foot of grass, depending on its size. Natural mulches, like bark pieces or wood chips, should be poured 2-4 inches within the circle and keep the mulch from touching the circle.

Tree Pruning

This involves removing specific branches or stems to benefit the whole tree. In order to prevent insect and decay organism from entering the tree, damaged or diseased branches are removed. What this does is that it increases the air and sunlight supply to the tree and results in fewer disease problems.

Tree pruning, stump grinding, tree trimming, and cutting are ongoing processes through the life of the tree. Timely pruning will not only save you money, it will offer you a safer, aesthetically appealing, and easier to maintain the tree. Especially if it’s done in the early years of the tree’s life, it affects its shape, strength, and even its lifespan.

When to Prune

It mainly depends on the species and the reason why you have to prone.  Removal of dead wood and light pruning can be carried out any time.

Winter Pruning: it is suggested to wait until the end of the coldest parts of winter, but generally this is the season when you should carry it out. Since the plant is in a dormant pace, it will undergo a vigorous burst of new growth in the following spring.

Summer Pruning: around this time pruning is generally carried out for two reasons. First, to slow down the branches that you don’t want and dwarf their development since this reduces their access to nutrients. The second reason to prune is mostly for corrective purposes, such as defective limbs that hang too low under the weight of the leaves.

Fall Season: this is the season when you aren’t supposed to prune since the decay fungi spread their spores profusely during this season and the healing process is slower.

If you are pruning to enhance the trees flowering, then those trees that bloom in spring should be pruned when the flowers fade. While those flowers that bloom mid-to-late summer should be pruned in winter or early spring.

Rules for Good Pruning

  • Carry out visual inspections from the top down
  • Don’t remove more than ¼ of the tree’s crown in a season
  • Main branches should ideally be 1/3 smaller than the trunk
  • For most species there should be a single trunk, so identify the best leader and prune around that to form the shape.
  • Keep your tools sharp, pruning shears with curved blades are the most effective on young trees.
  • Favor buds that will produce branches that grow in the desired direction.