Home improvement

DIY Tree Care Tips vs. When to Call the Professionals

Caring for the trees in your yard can be a rewarding part of homeownership and landscaping. While many aspects of tree care can be managed by the DIY enthusiast, there are situations where calling in professional arborists is not just advisable—it’s essential. Understanding the balance between DIY tree care and when to call the professionals can save you time, money, and ensure the health and safety of your trees and property.

DIY Tree Care Tips

  1. Mulching and Soil Care
  • DIY: Applying mulch around the base of your trees helps retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed competition. Ensure the mulch is not piled against the tree trunk to avoid moisture buildup and rot.
  • Soil Care: Regularly check the soil around your trees for compaction and moisture levels. Aerating the soil can help improve water and nutrient absorption.
  1. Watering
  • DIY: Young and newly planted trees require more frequent watering than established ones. Water deeply and slowly to encourage deep root growth, typically once a week unless rainfall is sufficient.
  1. Pruning Young Trees
  • DIY: Pruning young trees to shape them and remove any broken or diseased branches can usually be done by homeowners. Use clean, sharp tools to make precise cuts.
  1. Basic Pest and Disease Inspection
  • DIY: Regularly inspect your trees for signs of pests and diseases. Early detection can make management easier and more effective with over-the-counter treatments.

When to Call the Professionals

  1. Large Tree Pruning and Removal
  • Professional: Pruning or removing large trees involves significant risks to both the person doing the work and the property. Professionals have the equipment and expertise to safely manage these tasks without causing harm.
  1. Advanced Disease and Pest Management
  • Professional: If a tree is suffering from an advanced disease or a pest infestation that you cannot identify or manage with basic treatments, professional arborists can provide the necessary care. They can diagnose the issue accurately and recommend the best treatment plan.
  1. Emergency Tree Care
  • Professional: Storms and other emergencies can leave trees in dangerous positions. If a tree is threatening to fall on property or has large, broken branches hanging precariously, it’s time to call in the experts.
  1. Structural Support Installation
  • Professional: Some trees may require structural support, such as cabling or bracing, to prevent limb failure or to correct structural weaknesses. This task requires an understanding of tree physics and biology that professionals possess.
  1. Legal and Safety Regulations
  • Professional: In many areas, tree removal or even extensive pruning may be regulated by local laws. Professionals are familiar with these regulations and can ensure that your tree care activities are compliant. They also follow industry-standard safety protocols to prevent accidents.

While DIY tree care can be a fulfilling activity, recognizing the limits of your knowledge and abilities is crucial for the health of your trees and the safety of your surroundings. For complex, dangerous, or specialized tasks, professional arborists bring invaluable expertise and peace of mind. By understanding when to tackle tree care yourself and when to call in the professionals, you can ensure that your trees remain a beautiful and safe part of your landscape for years to come.


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