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Trees, whether they’re saplings or full-grown shady giants, can be a stately anchor to your landscape. But because they’re such an important part of your outdoor space, it’s all the more important to take good care of them.

Trees should be one of your biggest investments, especially where maintenance is concerned. If cared for properly, your trees will grow with you and your family — a part of your landscape that truly lasts a lifetime, maybe even more!

Trees are resilient plants, but there are some common tree-care mistakes that could prove fatal. Here are five missteps to avoid.

Tree care mistake #1: placement

Planting a tree without really thinking through how much sun and water it will get versus what it needs, what type of soil it’s being planted in, even how tall it will grow — watch out for those power lines! — could cause some major problems down the line.

In many cases, you can transplant a tree that’s been planted in the wrong spot in your landscape, but it’s better to save yourself the headache, time and money by choosing your spot extra carefully in the first place.

Tree care mistake #2: topping

Topping, the pruning practice of lopping off the topmost branches of your tree when it gets too tall, is one of the biggest pruning blunders out there. In addition to looking a little silly — yep, there’s a reason Vanilla Ice’s flat-top haircut went out of style so quickly — it also affects how the tree grows, makes the tree more open to issues with disease and insects, and can even kill it.

Though topping may seem like a quick solution to your problem, you’re guaranteed to multiply the problems by doing it.

Tree care mistake #3: not pruning at all

If you read the above section on topping and decided it’s better to leave the clippers in the shed and not prune at all, you’re not alone. Many homeowners just decide to forego the pruning, forgetting that there are lots of benefits to it!

In addition to the visual benefits of pruning, it can help strengthen your tree’s limbs, encourage proper trunk and limb growth, and keep them from breaking under the winter stress of snow and ice. If you’re nervous about pruning yourself, there are plenty of professionals — including the Neave Group team — happy to take on the job.

Tree care mistake #4: trunk damage

When you’re mowing the lawn, you’re probably more concerned with creating those beautiful straight lines than avoiding the occasional run-in with a tree trunk in the way.

Did you know that repeated injury to your tree’s bark and outer protective layers — by lawn mowers, weed whackers, or even heavy items leaned up against the tree — can actually make it more susceptible to diseases, as well as less able to absorb water and nutrients?

These small wounds can add up over time and weaken your trees.

Tree care mistake #5: watering

A tree’s just like any other plant in your landscape — it’s just a little bigger! Don’t assume that trees will grow just fine on their own just with rainfall and other natural sources of moisture, especially when dealing with younger trees.

As with your other shrubs and flowers, there’s a delicate balance to watering your trees — overwatering and underwatering cause different issues but can be equally damaging to your trees’ health.

Let Neave Group’s tree care experts help you sort through the do’s and don’ts of maintaining the trees in your landscape. Whether we assess your property and simply make recommendations on what to do as a homeowner, or work with you to create a comprehensive plan to care for your trees year round, we’ll help you protect your arboreal investment.

If you’re in Hudson Valley, call our office at (845) 463-0592. In Westchester, call (914) 271-7996, and in Connecticut, find us at (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form to the right, and we’ll contact you to set up a free consultation.

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landscape planning guide neave group cover

FREE Landscape Planning Guide

Download our FREE Landscape Planning Guide and start planning the landscape of your dreams!

Download Now