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Keeping your trees in good shape is as important as watering them and fertilizing them. Trees need to be pruned, weeded, and fertilized to ensure they have the nutrients they need to grow healthy branches and maximize sunlight. Keeping your trees in good shape can be difficult, especially if you live in a climate with harsh winters. And since Raleigh experiences several cold snaps each winter, this problem only worsens with every snowfall. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your trees healthy this winter season without spending a fortune doing it.

Note: We decided to write this article after contacting Raleigh Tree Company. We utilized one of their emergency services and needed a tree removed.

Pruning Regularly

One of the essential things you can do for your trees is to prune them regularly. You’re likely aware of the fact that a healthy, strong tree will make use of the light that is shaded by other healthy trees. This means that it needs a lot of pruning. As your tree grows, you’ll notice that all the limbs and twigs on your tree are getting thicker and more robust. Prune these limbs and twigs regularly to keep your tree healthy and strong. You can use pruning shears or a landscaping tool like a hand pruner. You don’t need to cut all the branches at once, just the thicker ones. The number of trees you should prune will vary depending on the type of tree and its care. Acid-free, low-growing trees will require little pruning, while trees that produce heavy branches and spreaders will benefit from more frequent pruning.

Trim Back any Overgrown Branches

Branches that grow out of control can become a liability. They can become a tripping hazard, entangled in power lines, and even cause power outages if a storm brings down the trees overhead. And since our region suffers from frequent winter storms, these overgrown branches can become even more of a problem. A great way to deal with this issue is to use hand shears to promote the tree’s healthy growth. These trimming tools come with particular branches that allow you to snip off unwanted portions of the tree without damaging the rest. Another effective solution is to use a chain saw.

Aerate the Roots of the Tree

One of the crucial ways to ensure a tree has the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy is to aerate the soil around the roots. If your tree’s root system is a bit constricted, you can aerate the soil around the roots. This will allow more oxygen to reach the roots and encourage the growth of new healthy tree roots. Air circulation also helps to keep root diseases and insects away. Look around your tree and ensure some breeze is going around it. If there isn’t any movement, the roots will get too stressed and drop off. By removing the enclosed limiting factors, trees can get the necessary nutrients to grow strong and healthy.

Check the Soil Regularly

Trees need a healthy, stable, and rich soil to thrive. To get the soil the right texture, always work it in with a gardening spade or similar thick-bladed gardening knife. If you have a lawn, you can always add a second layer of soil to keep it healthy. If your tree has poor soil quality, you’ll likely see poor growth and abnormal leaf color. Add organic matter, such as chopped-up leaves or shredded garbage, to your soil mix to help your tree grow healthy trees.

Use Good Watering Methods

When watering your trees, there are a few things to keep in mind. Watering your healthy trees will ensure they get the water they need and help them reach their full potential. It is essential to regulate the volume of water used on your trees. Watering too hard can cause the tree to develop a fungus that can turn the sap into a toxic substance. If the soil around your tree is typically very waterlogged, it can cause the roots of your tree to rot. To avoid either of these problems, you should water your trees at a consistent pace. If using a water sprayer, ensure you are targeting the root zone and not the leaves.

Remove all the Stakes and Guy Wires from Trees.

One of the ideal ways to keep your trees healthy is to keep them from getting hit by stray objects like branches and wires. Clearing the ground around your trees will also help reduce the risk of trees being struck by objects. Guy wires may choke your trees, strangle them, stunt them, and even create weak spots that break in strong winds.

Mulch Around Trees to Keep them Cool and Humid

One of the easiest ways to keep your trees healthy is to mulch around them. During very hot, humid weather, trees can become saturated and stressed from all the water they need and the inability to evaporate it quickly from the leaves. That leads to unhealthy, at-risk leaves susceptible to diseases and stunting. To avoid this, mulch around your trees. It will also help retain moisture in the air around your trees, keeping them from becoming too dry.

Apply a Slow-release Fertilizer

For trees that are not used to regular fertilization, a slow-release fertilizer can be used. This will allow your tree to get the nutrients it requires without the stress of frequent fertilization. A well-balanced fertilizer should contain a good balance of N-P-K, calcium, and magnesium.

Tree Cabling and Bracing

Cabling and bracing your trees can help them stand out from the background and improve their ability to withstand wind and rain. Consider cabling if you have large trees that need to be braced or tied to a pole for winter protection. This will prevent the trees from falling over from the weight of the snow. A well-braced tree will have less likely to break under the weight of the leaves in the fall. Bracing the trunk will help your tree stay healthy and give it the energy it needs to grow.


Trees require specific conditions to grow and reach their full potential. The health and growth of your tree will determine the length of time it will live and the quality of its foliage. Your tree care routine is an essential part of keeping your tree healthy.