Celebrate summer by honoring the trees and beautiful landscapes that surround us. But, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before stepping outside.
Trees, one of nature’s most wonderful gifts, clean the air, increase property values and support wildlife. They also provide shade that keeps people and homes cool and minimizes the harmful effects of UV rays on skin.
That’s right — trees actually act as nature’s sunscreen.
According to The American Cancer Society (ACS), trees are equally important as hats and sunglasses when it comes to providing protection from strong and dangerous UV rays. In fact, the ACS and The Shade Foundation agree shade from trees provides both an effective and aesthetically appealing defense against the sun.
And with skin cancer on the rise, it’s important to learn how to keep trees healthy, so they can keep us healthy, too.
5 Steps to Keep Trees Healthy this Summer
- Look up. Inspect trees and shrubs from the bottom up. Check for brittle or dead branches, soft or decaying wood, small holes in the trunk or shallow pits in the bark.
- Feed Well. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to keep trees growing strong. This replaces nutrients and protects trees from disease, insects and stressful weather.
- Hydrate. Water trees to keep them well-hydrated throughout the year. A watering method that quenches roots is ideal for all trees and shrubs, especially those suffering from drought stress.
- Make good choices. Plant the right tree in the right place to maximize both the tree’s lifespan and the landscape’s economic rewards.
- Schedule regular check-ups. Schedule a check-up with a certified arborist to ensure the best care for trees. An arborist will spot hazards, explain potential concerns, provide expert advice and may find something a homeowner missed.
Plant the Right Tree in the Right Spot
Choose one that will provide the best shade. Deciduous trees with large spreads of dense foliage add sun protection and provide better coverage during intensely sunny summer months. Plant a new tree on the east, west or northwest side of the home to offer shade from summer sun and reduce air conditioning costs by up to 35 percent.
Don’t underestimate the value of trees and plants. Plant trees in the right place, and provide proper tree care and landscape maintenance this summer and beyond to enjoy the benefits for years to come.