Hover Parenting Techniques For Your Trees
Think about when you were learning how to drive. Every time you approached an intersection, a stop sign, or another car, whoever was teaching you probably started stomping on the floor to hit the break. This person may have yelled whenever they thought you were going too fast or you were too close to other cars.
It is a common occurrence that probably didn’t stop once you passed the test and the state said you could drive. Your parents didn’t want you to drive in the rain, the snow, or when the sun was too bright. They were afraid when you drove their cars but even worse when you drove your own.
However, you only really got better when they allowed you to fly on your own.
It’s a bit of a stretch, but this is how your trees feel as well if you try to do too much to them. Like a teenager, sometimes trees function best (and aren’t prone to outbursts) when they are just left alone.
Think you might be hover parenting your trees? You need to stop.
Start with these four tips:
4. You’ve Pruned By Yourself
- Causes lasting damage to the health of the tree
- Hurts the likelihood of a good fruit harvest or spring flowers
- Your tools might be doing more harm than good
Let’s be honest, our parents aren’t always great drivers and when we learn from them, we tend to learn their bad driving techniques. It isn’t until years later that we realize that we get road rage like our mothers or drive slightly to the right like our fathers. These are things that, if we were taught by a professional, we might not do and might be safer drivers.
The same is true in regard to trees. By doing something like pruning, which should be handled by a professional, by yourself, you are setting yourself up for fights and errors. You are going to make mistakes that you think are right based on what you’ve seen your parents do, people do in movies, or just what seems right. This isn’t a good idea.
What you do to your tree when you are pruning it will impact its overall health, possibly for the rest of its life – or shorten its life dramatically. Tree Care Tips advises that you should never cut more than a quarter of your tree back at any given time – but even snapping off a twig is too much if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.
Remember that when you are trimming your tree, you are creating lacerations in it and those wounds will need time to mend and in order to heal correctly – and there isn’t any way to speed this process up. This means using the proper tools and the best techniques for tree pruning is imperative.
3. Your Soil is Wrong
- Professional soil testing can help you determine what is good and what isn’t
- Make sure to balance out nutrition with your ecosystem
- Testing is necessitated every few years
Delivering nutrients is one of the most basic ways we show anything or anyone that we appreciate them. Going back to the driving metaphor, when we first get a car, most of us are particular about cleaning them consistently and changing the fluids. What we don’t realize is that we aren’t allowing our cars to function properly and then we might not know when something is wrong.
This is similar to tree care because most people who love their trees overlook the fact that the soil might be killing them slowly and gradually. They throw spoil on the ground, water regularly, and pick off anything that doesn’t look right – clearing any signs and symptoms that something is going dangerously wrong.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the pH of your dirt is one of the most critical elements to consider – and for most home lawns, you want the pH to be about 6.5. This will support all of the necessary functions of your tree, including soaking up nutrients, growing, repairing from cuts, and producing flowers and harvests.
2. You’ve Irrigated Too Often or Too Much
- Leaves start to turn color or textures
- Tends to happen in the wet season
- Allow land to dry out at times
Sometimes too much of a good thing is undoubtedly a bad thing. Too much junk food, too much exercise, too much TV time, and even too much water are all bad for humans.
Too much water is also really, really bad for your trees. When you water them too much, you are actually causing a lot of problems.
If you have irrigated your trees too much, you will see the following problems, according to Home Guides, if your trees have yellowing leaves, blisters, or exposed roots, it is possible that your trees have had too much water.
If you see any of these clues, you need to scale back on the watering. Sometimes just allowing your tree to dry out can help it to get back on track. Other times, you may need to do some digging to elimate water that is stored in the soil – but this is most common during flooding or stormy seasons.
1. You Are Worrying About the Pests Too Much
- Sprays can be more harmful than the pests
- Some “unwanted pests” are actually good for the trees
- Nature tends to take care of itself without intervention
Just like some blunders when you are learning how to drive (how else will you remember to put on the emergency brake when you part on a hill unless your car has taken out a neighbor’s fence?), some pests aren’t a problem on your trees. In fact, trees and pests need to coexist for both to survive.
When there are too many, then the problems start.
According to ThoughtCo, “Insects that attack trees come in many sizes and shapes. The beetles consume leaf parts and inner bark; the aphids, leafminers, and moths defoliate; the borers consume wood; the gall-making wasps deform limbs and leaves. Not all insects will kill a tree, but the “killers” listed can be certain death when insect populations explode.”
So really, you have to be cautious and prudent when it comes to treating your tree if you think there is an infestation. Sometimes, the methods that you would use to destroy the pests or insects might do more damage. You also need to know that not all pests look like insects – birds and mammals can be hazardous as well.
Contact AK Timber Services for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down to watering. Call us today at (360) 635-1076 for all of your tree care needs – we offer free estimates.
Header photo courtesy of Barb Manning on Flickr!