The Rolling Plains is known for harsh environmental conditions. A few simple, but very important practices can improve the chances of your plants recovering, or extend the life of a healthy one. Read Texas A&M AgriLife Extensions tips for caring for stressed trees and shrubs.
- Apply it 3-4 inches deep. More is not better.
- Hardwood mulch is recommended.
- apply mulch to the drip line or just beyond.
- do not place mulch against the trunk.
- target the tiny feeder roots at the drip line.
- SLOW, DEEP SOAKING at the drip line is the best method. Use a soaker hose, or move the end of a water hose. It could take several hours, but the deeper the moisture goes, the less often you need to water.
- water trees until soil moisture is approximately 12 to18 inches deep. Use a screwdriver or rod to see how deep it will penetrate. This indicates the depth of adequate soil moisture.
- over-watering is as harmful as underwatering.
- newly planted /young trees need to be checked weekly, especially if there is limited or no rainfall. **check moisture inside the root ball, not just in the surrounding soil.
- mature trees don’t usually need watering, except possibly during extended drought.
- irrigation bags often don’t provide enough moisture to reach beyond the drip line
Fertilization— Not recommended
- fertilizing increases stress on trees, as this signals the plant to grow at a time when heat and wind can be a problem and providing adequate water is difficult
- treatment is not recommended as borers typically attack only unhealthy trees.
- if you treat, imidacloprid (active ingredient) is recommended each year about February.
- cut at the correct location of the branch for proper healing
- make 3 cuts on a large branch to prevent damage to the trunk
- pruning can be done any time of year except for oaks. Don’t prune them in February until June if there is a risk of oak wilt disease. Pruning paint is rarely needed, except for oak trees. https://agrilife.org/treecarekit/planting-tree-maintenance/how-to-prune-a-tree
Going Above and beyond