Mature Tree Care For New Homeowners

Tree Barber is contacted for a various of Tree Care needs, but we frequently get calls from new homeowners regarding the trees on their newly purchased North County San Diego property. Our Certified Arborist has put together some information to help you get started and on track to keep your trees happy, healthy and safe.

Before closing escrow, many of our clients have our Certified Arborist come walk the new property with them to address any existing or potential causes for concern. Sometimes, homeowners are not aware of the needs or concerns of the trees on their newly purchased property. Both situations are greatly helped by having a professional help guide you on the path to success. A healthy tree is both aesthetically pleasing as well as a valuable asset to your property.

Checking for root damage to the sidewalks, driveway and foundation is important. Root damage can be very expensive when not detected before purchasing your house.

While there are vast resources on the planning and care for new trees, homeowners are often left in the dark when it comes to caring for the mature trees that already inhabit their property. It is essential to immediately identify the species of trees on your property to ensure proper care, such as watering, fertilizing and pruning.

Caring for Mature Trees

Mature trees provide shade and beauty and other benefits to both your property and the surrounding environment. They require different treatment than young trees, but still need regular watering, pruning, disease prevention and protection.

While young trees are quicker to grow and easier to plan for future care, mature trees grow slowly and are very sensitive to their surrounding environment. If older trees are unhealthy or damaged they more susceptible to disease.

If watered improperly or growing in poor soil conditions, the tree’s health will start to decline. The tree may be stressed for a long period of time before it shows significant symptoms such as leaf or branch drop. Watch trees carefully for foliage changes to catch problems early, and begin care and treatment.

There are a few steps you can take to help provide your mature trees with the best chance of flourishing:

Watering
The number one thing you can do for mature tree health is to make sure that the amount of water supplied is appropriate for your tree. For most mature trees, regular weekly deep watering is recommended in the absence of a soaking rain. With ongoing drought conditions in North County San Diego, a professional will be much better equipped to educate you on the current needs of your trees. The needs of your trees may vary based on their surrounding environment.

Pruning
Mature trees need to be pruned (trimming, lacing, reduction, etc.) regularly to remove dead or diseased wood and to remove extra weight from the branches. Properly pruning your trees will reduce the likelihood of branch breakage and hazards. Make sure a professional Arborist prunes your tree.

Improper pruning can create lasting damage or even shorten the tree’s life and can create lasting damage to both the tree and to your property. Pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology by a qualified Certified Arborist.

Disease and other problems
Learn about tree pests and diseases that may affect your tree. If you suspect disease, consult a Certified Arborist. The arborist can also inspect the tree for weak branch attachments and periodically check your tree for safety. Watch trees carefully for foliage changes to catch problems early and begin care and treatment. Generally, once you start noticing even moderate symptoms, it is often too late to save the tree.

Common Tree Care Mistakes to Avoid

Tree Topping – Don’t Top Your Trees!
Reduction is often used interchangeably with Topping but they are not the same! Topping is one of the most harmful tree pruning practices, yet many Tree Service companies still do it; Tree Barber can help reduce the size of the tree using proper Tree Reduction techniques.

Mechanical Damage 
Mechanical damage is injury to the bark of a tree caused by weed whackers, lawn mowers, other lawn equipment, and bicycles or objects leaning against trees. These wounds are sometimes unable to heal if re-injured, making trees susceptible to diseases, and interrupting the nutrients vital to the tree’s health.

Pruning or Injuring Trees Belonging to Others
Pruning or injuring trees that belong to the city or a neighbor is against California law, and and may result in a lawsuit against you for the full value of the tree and any loss of value to the neighboring property. This includes branches that come onto your property. If branches are not pruned properly and the tree is disfigured or mortally wounded, then you may also be liable.

Competing Plants
Lawn, weeds or plants growing around the base of the tree compete with the tree for moisture and nutrients. These plants can hide defects such as decay and can trap moisture around the roots, creating the ideal environment for fungus. Ideally all competing plants within the drip line should be removed. The drip line of the tree is from the base of the trunk extending to outer most foliage of the tree. Laying mulch around the trunk (but leaving the root crown exposed) can help keep plants from returning.

Hiring a Certified Arborist

The benefits of contacting a professional as soon as you purchase your new property is a valuable investment. An Arborist can inspect the trees for any safety concerns including weak branches, potential property damage, and asses the trees overall health.

Becoming educated on the proper needs and care for your trees will help maintain their health and success. Tree Barber’s Certified Arborist, Paul Rider, has the knowledge and experience with all aspects of Tree Care in North County San Diego.

Contact Us
For more information on our tree trimming and pruning services, or to ask Tree Barber’s Certified Arborist a question, please feel free to contact us directly at: 760.745.7871 or 858.485.0663.

Serving North County San Diego residents for over 30 years! We service both inland and coastal communities including Carlsbad, Del Mar, Leucadia, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Santa Luz, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Lake San Marcos, San Elijo Hills, Solana Beach, and Vista.