Tree Care Made Easy
Many people carefully water, fertilize and cut their lawns, but never give a second thought to their trees. Proper tree care is not much different. Trees also need watering, fertilizing and a good pruning every now and then!
Large urban trees such as elms are fairly resistant to drought, however if you notice that leaves are starting to droop during periods of very hot or dry weather it may be time to get out the hose. Infrequent, thorough soakings are better than frequent minimal watering. In the early morning, water the entire area beneath the crown of the tree with a sprinkler until at least 3 cm (1 in.) of water has been applied. This can be measured by placing empty tuna cans under the sprinkler and watering until the cans are full. Repeat this weekly and your tree will start to perk up!
Mature trees will benefit from a fertilizer application every two or three years. Fertilizer can be applied on the surface of the soil or in "feeding" holes that are dug in the soil around the tree from the drip line (where the outer edge of the canopy drips onto the soil) and outward. Fertilize in early spring before growth begins. For well established trees that are 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter or more, apply 1 kg (2.2 lb.) of fertilizer per 3 cm (1 in.) of trunk diameter using a 20:20:20 mix. Evenly distribute the fertilizer from the drip-line and out. After surface applications, make sure to water well.