During the summer, growth slows as some resources become limited and typically water. As the summer season progresses, the likelihood of less rain means potential drought conditions.
The primary responses of a tree to heat and drought are a reduction in photosynthesis and carbon assimilation rates. This translates to a reduction in energy production and food reserves.
This reduction can increase vulnerability to health issues and reduce defense mechanisms against pests.
There are some key steps to summer tree care which can help trees through potentially
challenging conditions in the summer.
1. Watch the water; be sure to supplement trees with additional watering when there isn’t adequate rainfall that measures at least an inch per week. Mature trees need
supplemental watering just as the younger, newly established trees.
2. Refresh your mulch; adding mulch to tree rings or even better, expanding them is a
great way to reduce water requirements and competition for water and other
resources. As trees grow, so do the roots under the tree and expanding mulching rings
outward to the dripline of the crown is a great way to keep trees healthier. Also, this
helps with those surface root issues as well.
3. Don’t get bugged too much; summer brings out the best in pests too! Many mite and
scale species love the heat and can cause major damage and even death to your trees.
Look for signs and symptoms of scale infestations and mite damage on your trees and
4. A nip and tuck are fine; summer is actually a good time to prune as needed to meet
objectives such as reducing risk, improving branch structure, and removing conflicts or
improving aesthetics. An arborist will be sure to only remove what is necessary and
reduce the amount of live, green tissue removal. This is what produces food for the tree.
5. It is always a good idea to consult a Certified Arborist for answers to tree questions. A
reputable arborist trained in best practices and current research can provide the best
solutions to keeping trees healthy and reduce potential risk for damage during those