Tree Care

Trees are one of your greatest landscape assets, so monitoring the health of your trees is well worth the time.

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Trees are one of your greatest landscape assets. A healthy tree will increase your property value and make your yard a more pleasant place to be. Watching the health of your trees is well worth the time. However, don’t assume that your native or well-adapted trees need to be rescued from every little insect and dry spell. Most good tree care is prevention of problems.

OAK WILT

What’s Happening

Oak wilt is the most serious tree disease affecting our area. It can kill valuable trees quickly. It is carried by beetles that are attracted to sap from fresh pruning cuts on trees. It also spreads through joined root systems of trees.

Threat Level

High for live oaks and oaks in the Red Oak family.

Prevention

Always paint pruning cuts and other wounds to oak trees within thirty minutes. Any type of paint that covers the wound will work. For more information on oak wilt, go to Texas Oak Wilt.

REGRADING SLOPE AROUND TREES

What’s Happening

Adding soil around trees harms the long-term health of the tree.

Threat Level

High for long-term survival of tree.

Prevention

Avoid making changes in the slope around your trees. Adding soil is as bad as taking it away. Keep soil and mulch away from the base of the trunk especially.

COMPACTION OF ROOTS

What’s Happening

When soil is pressed down during construction or other activities, air spaces are eliminated from soil. This harms the long-term health of the tree.

Threat Level

High for long-term survival of tree.

Prevention

Avoid making changes in the slope around your trees. Adding soil is as bad as taking it away. Keep soil and mulch away from the base of the trunk especially.

BALL MOSS

What’s Happening

Ball moss is a harmless bromeliad that grows in very shady canopies of trees.

Threat Level

NONE

Prevention

Ball moss thrives in dense shade and on rough bark. Appropriate and professional trimming of trees can bring in more light which reduces ball moss. Cutting ball moss from tree limbs can lead to wounds that encourage oak wilt. If you find ball moss unsightly, it can be killed with Kocide® or a mixture of baking soda in water. Seek current advice for treatment of ball moss with the Texas Forest Service.

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Cutaway of thin soil layer covering limestone.