How to Keep Your Ash Tree Healthy
Ash trees are renowned for their understated elegance and beauty, with their diamond-ridged bark, opposing branches, and 5 to 11 leaflets per leaf. Ash trees are able to thrive in a wide range of soils provided that sufficient moisture is present, and their shallow root systems tend to extend widely. While ash trees establish fairly easily with proper care, they are susceptible to various pests and diseases, including ash tree borers, so maintaining tree health is particularly important. Here are some tips on how to keep your ash tree healthy throughout its lifespan.
- Water trees when young and during times of drought. Ash trees require plenty of water when they are young, as this is essential for them to develop a robust root system. They also need to be watered on a weekly basis during periods of drought or unreliable rainfall. In addition, it’s a good idea to give the tree water in the late fall before the ground freezes, as this will help prevent it from becoming dehydrated during the winter season.
- Ensure soil health. Many homeowners don’t realize that one of the most important factors for a healthy ash tree is good soil. Not only does the quality of soil determine how much nutrients and water the plant has access to but also how efficiently the tree can use those nutrients. Good soil will help your tree withstand various stresses and better fight off infections, disease, and pest infestations.
- Regularly fertilize your trees. Annual or biannual fertilizing is essential to maintaining tree health. In general, mature and established trees will benefit from specially formulated feedings of organic-based macro and micronutrients. This will ensure that the tree has the nutrition necessary to sustain good health over the long term. For the tree to get the most benefit, the fertilizer should be placed below the grass roots.
- Remove broken, diseased, or dead ash tree branches. It’s important that this is done on a regular basis in order to prevent decay-producing fungi from infecting other areas of the tree. In addition, this offers other benefits to tree health, including increased exposure to sunlight and proper circulation of air within the canopy. Note that tree experts recommended the removal of branch stubs as well, as this will promote the successful healing of wounds.
- Prune to optimize tree structure. Generally, it’s recommended that ash trees be trained to grow with a center leader. Thus, due to the opposing branch structure of the tree, pruning is usually necessary. Pruning can be used to reduce specific defects or structural problems in the tree while helping to preserve or improve tree structure, vigor, and lifespan.
Through the tips outlined above, you can keep your ash trees as healthy as possible. When you maintain tree health trees, you can prevent ash tree problems from occurring in the first place ensuring a long and fruitful life, and a beautiful addition to your yard.