Maintaining a Fully Grown Pine Tree
Pine trees don’t take a whole lot of effort to maintain once they’re fully grown, but they still do need care and attention. Whether it’s removing old, dead branches, giving it water, or treating it for pests or infections, you can still take steps to help keep your mature conifer stay healthy for its entire life.
Dealing with Damage
Your pine tree may have gotten damaged during a strong storm. If this is the case, then you should do your best to remove all broken branches from your tree, as these can attract pests and fungi to attack your tree. Some of these broken branches may be all the way up at the top of the tree, and in some cases, it may be best to either climb it to remove them, or hope that creatures living in the tree will utilize the dead branches as materials for building their nests (which is common).
Dealing with Pests
In the event that your pine tree is attacked by pests, you can treat it with either a direct pesticide, which could potentially harm any birds or outdoor rodents living in your tree, you could opt for a pesticide made to put on the roots. It would work similar to you taking a garlic supplement to repel mosquitos; some pesticides can actually cause the tree to excrete a smell that will get rid of the bugs. However, if this doesn’t work, you may have to break down and spray pesticide right on the plant.
As for termites, if the damage is minimal, you can spray a pesticide; but if the damage is really bad, you may not be able to save your tree. This is why it’s important to look over your tree on a regular basis—say, once a week or so, just to check for these kinds of pests. You can check for termites by pulling back some of the bark and peering behind it. Usually you can see termites there, if there are any.
The fungi that can infect conifer trees are the kind that need to be dealt with immediately. You will need to first remove any broken, cracked, or rotted limbs. This will help reduce the amount of fodder you give to the fungus that’s infecting your pine tree. Also, if there are branches that look fine but have dead needles on them, you should remove the whole branch as that could be a source of disease spreading throughout your entire pine tree.
When it comes to other pests, like woodpeckers and termites, pine trees are especially vulnerable. In the event that you do have these pests in your conifer, you should set up an actual woodpecker station, which is a pole near an ant colony. You can coax ants to the top of the pole by putting honey or some other sugary substance at the top end, and the woodpeckers, looking for food, will go after that pole because they see the ants going up and down the pole. This is a great way to divert the attentions of woodpeckers.
When you properly care for your conifer, even if you’re not as involved with it as with other plants in your garden, you are helping to ensure a long and comfortable life for your pine tree. You’re also making sure to provide shelter for creatures that naturally dwell in taller and shadier trees, and that’s a responsible way to practice eco-friendly planting habits.