Tree Care Dos and Don’ts O’Fallon, IL

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Trees are invaluable assets to our landscapes, providing shade, beauty, and environmental benefits. Tree care is important to ensure they have a long life. However, caring for trees involves more than just watering them occasionally. To help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of tree care in O’Fallon, IL, here’s a comprehensive guide to nurturing healthy trees.


  • Water Wisely: Adequate water is crucial for tree health, especially during dry spells. Water deeply and infrequently encourages deep root growth, and mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture.
  • Prune Regularly: Pruning promotes healthy growth, removes dead or diseased branches, and enhances the tree’s structure. You should prune during the dormant season to reduce the amount of stress on your trees.
  • Mulch Mindfully: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree but avoid piling it against the trunk. Mulch can retain moisture, important to help your tree regulate temperature and moisture.
  • Inspect Frequently: Regularly inspect your trees for signs of pests, diseases, or structural issues. It is through early detection that will allow you to provide early more effective treatment.
  • Support Young Trees: Stake or brace young trees to provide support and prevent them from leaning or toppling over in strong winds.
  • Fertilize Sparingly: If necessary, fertilize trees with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients. However, avoid over-fertilization, as it can harm the tree and leach into groundwater.
  • Protect from Damage: Avoid injuring trees with lawnmowers, weed trimmers, or other landscaping equipment. Install barriers to protect trees from mechanical damage and avoid compacting the soil around their roots.
  • Consult Professionals: When in doubt, seek advice from certified arborists or tree care professionals near O’Fallon, IL. They can provide expert guidance on tree care practices and address any issues effectively.


  • Overwater: While trees need water to thrive, overwatering can be detrimental, leading to root rot and other moisture-related issues. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and avoid creating waterlogged conditions.
  • Prune Heavily: Avoid excessive pruning, as it can stress the tree and compromise its structure. Stick to the 20-25% rule, removing no more than a quarter of the tree’s canopy in a single pruning session.
  • Mulch Too Much: Over-mulching, also known as “volcano mulching,” can suffocate tree roots and promote disease. Keep mulch depth to 2-4 inches and ensure it does not touch the trunk.
  • Ignore Signs of Stress: Trees communicate through visual cues, such as leaf discoloration, wilting, or dieback. Ignoring these signs of stress can lead to further decline and potential tree loss.
  • Use Harmful Chemicals: Avoid using herbicides, pesticides, or other chemical treatments near trees unless necessary. These chemicals can harm beneficial organisms and disrupt the tree’s natural ecosystem.
  • Prune at the Wrong Time: Pruning at the wrong time, such as during the active growing season, can leave trees vulnerable to pests, diseases, and excessive sap loss. Stick to winter pruning to minimize stress and promote optimal healing.
  • Forget to Remove Deadwood: Dead or dying branches should be promptly removed to prevent them from becoming entry points for pests and diseases. Regularly inspect trees for deadwood and prune as needed.
  • Attempt Risky DIY Projects: Tree care can be dangerous, especially when dealing with large trees or complex pruning tasks. Leave hazardous or high-reaching work to trained professionals equipped with the proper tools and expertise.
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By following these tree care dos and don’ts, you can cultivate a landscape filled with healthy, vibrant trees that enrich your surroundings and contribute to the well-being of the environment. Remember, caring for trees is an investment in the future, paying dividends in beauty, shade, and ecological benefits for generations to come.

If you are looking for a company to provide you with adequate tree care services in O’Fallon, IL, contact Merritt’s Tree Service today!