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Maintenance

Regular maintenance of mature trees will help your trees to be more storm resistant and will prevent problems that once develop are costly to cure. Regular mulching, fertilizing and pruning promote tree health and vigor.

Mulching Maintain a two to four inch layer of loosely packed mulch over the entire root system. Do not use plastic as it interferes with the gas exchange between soil and air.
Fertilizing Determine the soil conditions to insure proper fertilization. Garden centers and the LSU Cooperative Extension Service can provide you with soil analysis. Once this is determined garden centers/certified arborists/plant care professionals can advise you on the appropriate fertilizer for your location. Remember that tree root systems extend from two to three times the size of the leaf canopy and the major portion of actively growing roots are located outside the tree’s drip line.
Pruning Determine the overall condition of your trees. Dead branches and totally dead trees should be removed entirely and as quickly as possible. A sickly tree, low in vigor with significant rotten or decayed areas in the trunk may need removal if it poses a threat to buildings. Trees one sided or leaning need selective pruning to balance the weight distribution of the canopy. Unevenly distributed tree weight may lead to the tree toppling over after periods of prolonged heavy rain. Remove branches that hang over houses/buildings near the roof. In heavy wind, flailing branches can cause heavy damage the roofs.

Reference: Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter Horticulturist