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Five tips on tree care

In this article from Houston House and Home, Davey's Jack Swayze gives readers five tips for keeping big trees in the Houston area healthy. 

Published: June 2014

How one of the oldest trees in Houston stays alive 

The majestic live oak located at Beck's Prime Restaurant on Augusta has survived rains, droughts, hurricanes and more over its 400-year lifespan. 

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This old tree continues to be vital to human health offering environmental, economical and emotional benefits. This historic live oak produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale per year. 

"Trees give back to us all year long," says Jack Swayze, arborist for The Davey Tree Expert Company in Houston, and caretaker of this 400-year-old grand beauty. "But big trees need proper care," he says. 

Swayze offers five tips on how he and his team keep big trees in the Houston area healthy. 

Water slowly, deeply. With drought being top of mind for Houston residents, Swayze says the best time to water is in the morning. To ensure efficient water use, run a sprinkler beneath the tree as slowly as possible, use a drip hose, or apply a slow trickle from a garden hose. Avoid directly irrigating the trunk, as increased moisture encourages root rot. 

Mulch, mulch, mulch! Cover the "drip zone" of the tree with one to three inches of shredded hardwood or leaf mulch. But don't over mulch or volcano mulch. Keep mulch two to three inches away from the trunk, or the trunk will rot. 

Read the rest of Jack Swayze's tips for tree health in Houston.


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