Aspen trees are very popular for residential landscaping for many great reasons. There are a few steps you will have to take to ensure that your aspens have the best chance of growing tall and healthy. Here are 4 helpful tips for maintaining aspens on your property.
Avoiding Foot Traffic
Aspens have shallow root systems, so you shouldn't plant them in areas that receive constant foot traffic. Human and animal activity on the soil above the root system can compact the soil, making it hard for the roots to grow. Roots in compacted soil struggle to absorb moisture and nutrients from fertilizers. They basically get suffocated when the soil is packed too tight. You need to be especially wary of soil compaction during the first 3-4 seasons of growth.
Mulching with Natural Chips
Some foot traffic is inevitable, so you may need to protect your aspen by putting mulch around the base of the tree. The most environmentally friendly mulches are made from wood shavings or chips. These will also contribute to the health of the tree as the shavings dissolve and deposit more nutrients into the soil.
Mulch also slows down water evaporation, giving the roots more time to absorb water and nutrients from moist soil. Since mulch slows down evaporation, it makes over- and under-watering less likely.
Avoiding Contact with the Trunk
Some people think that they should pack mulch around the trunk of the aspen. However, you do not want the mulch to actually come in contact with the tree bark. When mulch decomposes it could also cause the tree to decompose with it. So, any mulch that is in contact with the tree trunk can compromise the tree's protective bark. Keeping the bark intact is vital to the health of aspen trees. In fact, this is one added perk of mulch. Mulch will prevent lawnmowers from getting too close to the tree trunk. It will also discourage humans and animals from walking on it.
Proper Watering of your Aspen
Giving your aspens enough water is obviously important as well. It is suggested that you lightly water your tree for 2-3 hours per week. A slow drip hose will work much better than the deluge from a normal hose or sprinkler system. Deep watering systems are also helpful for maintaining the healthiest soil.
If you want to grow aspens in your yard, you will be able to grow healthier trees with these simple care techniques. If you have more questions for how to properly care for trees on your property, ask a service like Sylvester's Tree Service for help.