While summertime might seem like the perfect season full of sun and warmth, there are also plenty of ways that summer can have a harmful effect, particularly on the trees in your yard. Unfortunately, as trees tend to be pretty big and tall, when they are damaged by the wind and lightning of summer storms, they can also cause considerable damage to the things around them, whether those things are other trees, property, cars, your home, or even you or your family. While they can be great additions to your landscaping, follow these three easy tips to avoid any additional harm coming to the people and things you love.
Identify Healthy Practices for Tree Maintenance
Healthy trees are, by far, safer trees than unhealthy trees, and often trees depend on their homeowners to stay in tip-top shape. As you put more energy into keeping your trees healthy, they’ll grow stronger and sturdier, will have fewer dead or weak branches, and will have better and stronger roots. So how do you encourage healthy tree growth?
- Do some preventative pruning: pruning throughout the seasons, including in summer, can help to keep a tree the healthiest it can be. Pruning will thin out the canopy and help the tree be less affected by strong winds, and will also help remove dead branches that are in danger of falling or being knocked loose.
- Cabling: If while pruning you find weaker branches that you are unable or unwilling to remove, you can instead work with an arborist to install a system of cables and braces that will help support the branches in times of increased stress.
- Get to the Roots: Most trees have large systems of roots deep underground that you can’t see, but some have surface roots that are susceptible to damage, particularly from lawn mowers. Make sure you either adjust the height of the lawn mower blades so you don’t damage the roots, or cover the area with mulch instead of grass. You can also add slow-release fertilizer around the roots: this will help the root system, and thus the entire tree, grow stronger and healthier.
Identify Diseased or Dead Trees
While you want to do everything you can to keep or make your trees happy and healthy, trees can be affected by disease, pests, or even drought, and some may be past the point where you can help them. As trees are affected by disease they become weaker (the same way that human bodies do), and dead trees not only are weaker than live trees but they tend to be dry and can catch fire much more easily (which is incredibly dangerous if they’re dead from drought). The effects of wind and strong storms will be more pronounced on these trees, increasing the risk of keeping them. In these cases, you’ll need to contact a tree service specialist to decide the best course of action, potentially including removing the tree and taking steps to keep surrounding trees healthy.
Identify Trees that are Exceptions
While most trees just need some care and attention to be safe in your yard, there are some trees that will be exceptional, in the sense that they are an exception to that rule and will need a little something extra. You may have a tree that grew leaning a little more towards the house, or one very tall singular tree that becomes more susceptible to lightning strikes. In these cases, you may have to put in a little extra effort to keep you and yours safe. Some trees may need to be removed, though again you’ll want to contact an arborist to help determine the best way to remove it and how you can add another tree to your yard. For those that are particularly prone to lightning strikes, you may want to consider installing a lightning protection system, which is a network of copper cables surrounding the tree to help ground the lightning strike and severely reduce the damage done if the tree happens to be hit by lightning. Once you take care of those exceptional trees, and if you take steps to keep your other trees happy and healthy, you can enjoy the summer (complete with summer storms) with a happy and healthy household too!