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Looking after your trees in Summer

Summer in Australia is Hot, Hot, Hot. It can also be Dry, it can bring Bushfires, and it can bring Storms. We jump from extreme to extreme. And our trees, plants, and fauna have to cope with it all. If you have trees in your domain, here are some hints and tips on how to help them through these times.

Regular watering

Really, that goes without saying. Especially for the young trees, to help in their development, regular watering is essential. When the days are hot, don’t waste water which can quickly evaporate in the middle of the day, but rather do your watering in the early morning or in the evening (or both times), when the water is more likely to soak into the ground. Consider the idea of grouping your plants, so that those requiring similar amounts of water can be easily dealt with and none misses out on the water that they need. A regular application of a good quality fertiliser is going to strengthen your trees and plants.

Wherever you live, research which plants will thrive best in your environment. Plants which do well in northern parts of Australia are not likely to thrive in the south, and vice versa. The local plant nursery and local council would advise you about suitable plants for your area. Something else you can do, is to look at the trees, bushes and plants that are thriving in your neighbourhood. If they grow well in Mr Jones’ garden, then they will do well in yours. (Don’t steal them from Mr Jones’ garden, though!!)

Make sure your lawn doesn’t miss out as well. Again the early morning/late evening principle applies, and using a sprinkler will disperse the water so that it is spread evenly.

Storms

Storms can bring a lot of water, or they bring a little. They also bring winds that are stronger than normal and can cause damage to young and fragile plants. Before storm season, look at your trees, young and old ones. Look out for dead branches, damaged branches, branches which overhang any structural elements in your yard, and make sure they are removed and disposed of, to limit the damage that a storm can do. Assess the very old trees as well. Maybe you will need an expert to give advice on whether an old tree needs to be removed. We’ve all seen pictures of trees with their roots pulled out of the ground. They were not strong enough to withstand the winds. You don’t want them coming down on top of your home or your car.

If you want to protect your tree, consider tree wrapping. Wrapping burlap or hessian around the tree trunk is not as silly as it sounds. However don’t leave it there for an extended time. It’s just a temporary protection against any missiles that the storm might send against your tree. Remove it when the threat is over so that the tree does not rot.

Remember, if your tree is dead or dying, call a professional tree removal service to remove the tree for you. Don’t try and do it yourself.