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Tree Care Mistakes You Might Be Making

Why are your trees struggling to grow? Read about three tree care mistakes you might be making right now so you can learn how to change your ways.


Since dry, droopy leaves are the hallmark of a plant that isn't getting enough moisture, you might see these symptoms on your tree and want to grab a hose to start supplementing. Unfortunately, overwatering can be just as dangerous as completely ignoring your tree's need for H20.

In normal, healthy trees, the root system absorbs water and uses the oxygen to help the plant transport nutrients to the rest of the tree. Unfortunately, too much water can cause problems like root suffocation, wet rot and fungal growth in the soil, all of which can kill your tree.

For these reasons, an overwatered tree has many of the same symptoms as an under-watered tree. Trees that are receiving too much water might have leaves that appear dry, wilted or droopy and their foliage tends to be exceptionally fragile. Overwatered trees also tend to have new growth that is yellow or light green.

As a general rule of thumb, the top twenty inches of soil surrounding your tree should be moist, but not muddy. To check the soil, insert a straightened wire hanger into the ground. If you hit hard soil that won't budge with pressure, your tree may need more water. On the other hand, a wire that inserts too easily into the ground could be a sign that you need to hold off on the extra watering days.

Damaging with Machinery

You want to make your tree stand out from the rest of your landscaping, which is why you might not be shy about trimming the weeds around the base or going around the tree closely with a lawnmower. Unfortunately, a little damage can do a lot of harm to the trunk of a tree.

When the trunk is nicked or cut, it sparks a healing response just like your body does when you get hurt. Deep damage can be too much for a tree to overcome, which is why you should do everything you can to keep that tree protected from the blades of your lawnmower, rototiller or edger.

To prevent damage while making it easier to care for your lawn, dig out the grass around your tree, and consider placing cement curbing around the base of the plant. If you really want to keep that tree looking tidy, you can even place fabric weed barrier around the tree and cover it with a shallow layer of mulch.

Pruning Incorrectly

It isn't always easy to stare at a tree that looks overgrown, which is why many homeowners take pruning into their own hands. Instead of hiring professionals to tackle the job, you might be ready to grab a pair of pruning shears and go to town.

Unfortunately, poor tree trimming is like a death sentence for your tree, causing problems like pest infestations, growth problems or a tree that looks so bad you might want to remove it altogether.

Because tree trimming is more of a science than an art, always hire a professional arborist to handle pruning. In addition to removing dead, diseased or unsafe branches, arborists can also encourage your tree to flower better and maintain a more appealing shape.

If you have questions about the trees on your property, contact County Tree Service. In addition to focusing on keeping prices low, our team of professional arborists understands how to make your trees healthy and vibrant — while maintaining a beautiful, safe outdoor atmosphere.