April 2018

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Mulching your yard is a very important process to insure your trees and plants grow healthy and happy.  Mulching is a delicate process, and over mulching could actually kill your trees. Here are a few basics to properly mulch your yard.

  1. Choose the right mulch for your yard.  While mulch can make your landscaping look much better, its purpose is to provide your soil with rich nutrients.  Selecting an organic mulch with wood is best for most trees.
  2. Apply the proper amount of mulch.  Only use 2 to 3 inches of mulch around your trees.  Any more that that could prevent water from getting to the roots.  You can apply an inch of mulch every year to freshen up the landscaping. 
  3. Mimic the tree’s natural environment.  When you look at trees in the forest, the ground is usually layered with leaves and pine needles that help to regulate water and temperature.  You can recreate this with mulch. 
  4. Apply mulch once a year during the spring.  The ground will be thawed and ready to receive nutrients.  First, remove any grass or weeds from around the tree, apply compost, then layer the mulch on top. 
  5. Don’t over mulch!  This is key. Over mulching can prevent oxygen and water to get to the trees, make them sick, and even kill them. 
  6. Don’t pile mulch against the base of the tree.  The tree’s root flare needs to be kept completely clear of any mulch.

Mulching your yard is vital to making sure your trees are protected and well nourished.  When done properly, mulching is a great asset to any yard.

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Palm trees add instant glamour to any yard, but not when their leaves are turning yellow!  Yellow palm fronds could be the sign of something wrong with your tree, or just natural growth from your palm.  

Palm trees grow new fronds from the upper central part of the tree.  Older fronds towards the bottom, or outside, of the plant will start to yellow, eventually turning brown.  This is a natural occurrence, and you can safely trim the brown leaves off to improve the look of your palm.  Make sure to wipe your shearing blades with rubbing alcohol in between cuts to avoid transferring any diseases to the rest of the plant.  

While some yellowing is natural, ti could also be a sign of something wrong.  A lack of nitrogen could be the culprit. The mineral nitrogen is vital for growth.  The oldest leaves will turn a light green, then yellow, followed by the younger leaves.  To fix this problem, use a nitrogen rich slow releasing fertilizer to feed your plant back to health.  This can also help any other lack of nutrients, such as a lack of potassium or magnesium, causing your palm to yellow.  You can purchase a soil testing kit at any garden shop to check the nutrient levels in your plant’s soil to insure that your palm is getting the right food.

If the soil isn’t to blame, it could be a case of fungi or other pests.  Search for other signs of illness, such a rotting roots or a sticky film covering your fronds.  Some pests create webs that can also harm your tree. It’s important to contact your local arborist to check your tree to determine the best course of action to help your palm to recover.

Since palm trees are evergreen trees, they are not kept on a normal pruning schedule, making them a different challenge than oak trees.  If you are worried about the health of your palm tree, call an arborist to assess your tree.