Give your trees some TLC

Updated April 05, 2019
Give your trees some TLC
Trees are a critical part of our landscape. They are beautiful to look at, provide shade when the days are hot, sustenance for our tables, homes for wildlife and help clean our air and water. Taken care of properly, trees can provide benefits for generations to come. Here are some tips on how to care for your trees.

1) Check the soil moisture
Before you start to water your trees, check the soil moisture at different points under the canopy. Use the screwdriver test or a moisture meter to determine if your trees need water.

2) Create a summer watering plan
Develop a watering plan for your trees before the hot summer months arrive. Water thoroughly to encourage deeper roots that will withstand drought. Then let the soil dry between waterings. Set up drip irrigation to make sure water reaches the tree’s roots. Be sure to extend drip to the edges of the tree canopy (rather than watering near the trunk). Plan to water young trees more frequently for up to two growing seasons. Once established, trees can tolerate less frequent watering. Discourage root and crown diseases by watering established trees at the edges of the tree canopy, rather than at the trunk of the trees.

3) Layer mulch around your trees
Mulch helps moderate soil temperature, reduce evaporation and control weed growth. As it breaks down, mulch also adds valuable nutrients to the soil. Spread the mulch like a donut around your trees, keeping it four inches away from the trunk, layering it six inches deep and spreading it in a three to four foot diameter around your tree.

4) Keep weeds and lawn away from the base of your tree
Using mulch will help. And be sure to remove the weeds and grass by hand. Weed trimmers or lawn mowers can injure the bark of your trees.

Watered correctly, trees can be one of the most water-efficient plants in your yard. To learn more wise watering tips for trees, visit or

And, visit the Sacramento Tree Foundation website for information on the best trees to plant in our region.

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