Mature trees may seem to be well established and like they need little care to thrive, but neglect can lead to major problems. Regular tree care is just as important for a mature tree as it is for a newly planted sapling.
1. Open the Soil
The soil around an old, mature tree is likely to be heavily compacted from years of no tilling over the roots. This means moisture and nutrients aren't efficiently making their way down into the root zone. Aerating the soil over the root zone of your mature tree will help open up the soil and make it easier for a large tree to get the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients it needs for healthy growth.
2. Reduce Competition
Other plants that encroach on the trunk of the tree can siphon moisture and nutrients away from the tree. Your tree service may recommend removing any lawn grass, groundcover, or weeds that are growing too closely to the trunk. Once this is done, cover the bare soil with a couple of inches of mulch. The mulch allows moisture and nutrients to soak into the soil, and it reduces the chances of more plants growing and competing with the tree.
3. Lighten the Load
An older tree can end up with a lot of dead wood and weak branches in the canopy. All of this extra weight can put a strain on the tree, and weak branches are prone to breaking and causing severe damage to the tree and property below. Regular annual pruning ensures that dead and weak branches are removed so that they won't cause any harm.
4. Consider Some Bracing
An old tree may start to lean over time. This isn't a problem that can be ignored, since a leaning heavy tree is more likely to blow down or fall over when the ground is wet. Cabling or bracing can provide a counterweight to the lean, helping to slowly pull the tree back upright while also preventing it from blowing over in a big storm.
5. Catch Problems Early
Another benefit of regular tree care is that the problems that can plague older trees are caught early, when they can still be treated and reversed. The service will assess the tree for signs of fungal and bacterial diseases, as well as checking the tree for any insect pests. The sooner treatment begins for any problems, the more likely your tree will have a long life.
Contact a tree service for more help with your mature trees.