Trees and shrubs are hardy, but even they need help sometimes. The heat of Texas summers can leave your plants feeling depleted. Thankfully, you can restore their health! By following these best practices, you can put organic tree care to work for you – without the chemicals!
How To Care For Trees During Texas Summers
Use Horticulture Oils
Also known as “dormant oils,” these oils protect your tree from various problems – namely pests and diseases. Though horticulture oils can also help prevent winter burn. While Texas winters are usually mild, we can experience sudden extreme cold, as we saw last winter. The combination of cold temperatures and wind can suck the moisture out of our trees and shrubs – something they desperately need to make it through winter. When they lose their moisture, they can develop winter burn, which can cause discoloration, damage, and even the death of the plants. Dormant oils help plants retain their moisture. During the summer, they act as a barrier to any would-be pests or diseases that may come upon your tree. Plus, they will kill any existing eggs or larvae that have already been deposited on the tree.
Texas Tree Pests Found In Summer
Just as barnacles will cling to the hull of a ship, tree scale bugs will cling to the bark of our trees. You may not even notice they’re there. They’re flat in appearance and often get mistaken for knots or other natural variances in the wood. Scale bugs are not very mobile. Instead, they latch onto the bark, break the surface, and suck out the sap. While there are many tree scale species in Texas, they all fall under two categories: armored and soft scale. Armored scales are covered in a wax-like shell, while soft scales are not. Just as you can’t function after severe blood loss, a tree can’t grow and thrive without its sap. Trees may see leaves turn brown and fall off prematurely. Soft scales are particularly annoying because, in addition to ruining the tree, they secrete a sticky substance that can attract other pests or diseases. Dormant oils will kill tree scales and make it difficult for any new scales to cling to your ornamental plants.
Aphids are quite tiny, and you may have to look carefully to spot them on your trees and shrubs. Like soft scale bugs, they secrete a sticky substance called honeydew. This honeydew attracts other insects and sooty mold that will slowly devour your trees and shrubs. Your tree maintenance service technician will spray your entire tree from roots to canopy, leaving no leaf unturned and ensuring even the most difficult to spot bugs will get their comeuppance.
There’s a common theme among tree pests, and it’s that they all love to leech off our beloved trees. Mites are no different. They are common in Texas, and the varieties you’re most likely to see are spider mites, false spider mites, and southern red mites. They’re even smaller than aphids, which makes them almost impossible to detect unless you’re combing over your trees with a magnifying glass. But don’t worry – dormant oils will zap them.
Texas Tree Diseases
The other key thing that dormant oils do for trees is protect them against disease, i.e., health problems caused by microscopic organisms. This includes things like molds, mildews, and fungus.
Leaf spot is caused by fungus. It’s widespread, and if you have a few infected leaves, the tree may not require treatment. However, if you notice more than one branch is affected, it’s time to call your lawn care service. As you may have guessed from the name, leaf spot causes small to large black or brown spots on the leaves of your tree or shrub. Generally, with some pruning, and a good dose of dormant oil, your tree will bounce back just fine.
Powdery mildew is another fungus that loves to congregate on our trees and shrubs. It creates a whitish fuzz over the leaves of your plants – as though they’ve been covered in baby powder.
Get Deep-Root Fertilization
This is one of, if not the most beneficial thing you can do for your trees and shrubs. When we humans get sick, sometimes we need to have the medicine injected into our bodies via a shot. From vaccines to B12 vitamins, bypassing the digestive system allows our bodies to absorb the nutrients at a better rate. This same principle applies to trees. Using w
hat is essentially a huge syringe, your tree care technician will inject fertilizer directly into the root system of your tree. Lawns or flower beds often surround trees, and these things can compete with the tree for nutrients. Deep-root fertilization bypasses the competition.
Benefits Of Deep-Root Fertilization
- Enjoy more vibrant foliage
- Creates ideal soil conditions
- Increases resilience to drought, heat, and stress
- Reduces soil compaction
- Aids in overall growth
- Greater resistance to diseases
Caused by the Armillaria mellea fungus. It’s a common problem with peach, apricot, and nectarine trees here in Texas. When root rot sets in, it causes reduced growth, sparse foliage, and stunted yellow leaves. You may notice an increased amount of sap around the root collar and the formation of honey-colored mushroom clusters near the tree’s base. Unfortunately, when root rot takes hold, the trees often must be cut down. One of the best proactive things you can do to care for your peach tree is to keep the roots in peak health. And a deep-root fertilization treatment can help. Healthy trees are less prone to diseases.
Hire Tree Care Services Near Grapevine
Since 2004, the experts at Organic Matter Lawn Care have revived and rejuvenated thousands of trees across Grapevine and Southlake, Texas. Our tree and shrub care program is designed to deliver crucial nutrients through timely fertilizer applications and repel infestations of pests and disease. We can protect your oaks, evergreens, and even provide care to fruit trees. And everything we use is organic! To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 817-888-8961 or leave us a message online. And don’t forget to follow our new monthly blog!