Regular deep watering – it’s the irreplaceable trees in your garden that you should water during prolonged droughts. When the soil is at optimum moisture,
a large, leafy tree can transpire up to 200 litres a day. A long, slow soaking is the best way to water, at a pace the soil can easily absorb.
Protect the root zone – it’s tempting to use the shade of a big tree for parking on a hot, sunny day, but if you do it regularly, you’ll be permanently damaging its root zone. Plant roots need to breathe so there must be space for oxygen in the soil. The weight of a car, and even repeated foot traf c, can compact the soil, causing roots to die and the tree to suffer.
Keep climbers off the bark– even though most climbers are not parasitic, as they wrap around or attach themselves to a tree (especially ivy), they build up moisture and debris close to the trunk, causing fungal infections. Eventually, this, or just the weight of the climbing plant, can destroy the tree.
Don’t attach ropes or stays to a tree – even a padded rope with an attached weight, such as a well-used swing or hammock, crushes the main feeding tubes that lie just under the bark, damaging the limb.
Don't use a line trimmer around the base of a tree – even on a big tree with thick bark, the repeated action of the line hitting the tree will slowly ringbark it.
Keep excavations, even small ones, well away from a tree root zone - dig very carefully by hand if you’re having any plumbing jobs done, watching out for any roots thicker than 30mm diameter. Cutting even one major root not only removes vital food sources, it can destabilise the tree and cause it to eventually fall.
Pest patrols – look at the tree canopy regularly so you’ll notice if it changes; watch out for splitting or oozing bark, and also honey-coloured mushrooms on the ground that could indicate a fungal infection.
Mulching – use a slow-decomposing mulch to conserve soil moisture and protect the root zone from compaction.