Expert advice on preserving tree health and longevity

Sponsored by Bayou Tree Service

Trees are towering, long-lived plants — so it’s easy to assume these woody giants can simply take care of themselves.

Sometimes, though, trees need a little human help to keep them healthy, beautiful and thriving. They’re valuable assets that bring both value and beauty to a property, and ensuring they are at their best is a worthwhile investment.

First things first: If you have a branch that needs trimming, a pest problem or another tree concern, know when to call the pros — like Bayou Tree Service. Some tree maintenance can be done yourself, but some jobs need an expert’s touch.

“If you have to pull out a ladder, that’s when I would call an arborist,” says Lee Rouse, manager of Bayou Tree Service’s Baton Rouge branch. “If you’re trying to reach for something, getting on a roof or things like that, definitely let the professionals handle it.”

\With a team of licensed, certified and experienced tree care professionals, Bayou Tree Service can assess and address any problems. Homeowners also can lean on their expertise to create a long-term plan for maintaining trees.

Rouse encourages routine pruning. When done properly, pruning is one of the best defenses against pests and damage that can cause tree failure.

There are two main reasons for pruning. One is removing branches that block roofs, sidewalks and driveways. The second is pruning out dead material in the shady interiors of tree canopies.

“The reason we do that is the branch is dead now,” Rouse explains. “We know that’s going to fall during a storm or a wind gust. It’s best to go ahead and eliminate that material out of the tree rather than waiting for the wind to take it down.”

A regular fertility program is another good idea, he says. Enter Bayou Tree Service’s Tree Health Care Program, an exclusive service providing routine fertilization on a scheduled basis, which promotes healthier foliage and pest resistance.

“In an urban area, in a highly maintained yard, the ecosystem and soil system is not there like it would be in nature to provide additional nutrients to the tree,” Rouse says. “We come in and supplement that to keep the tree in tip-top shape. While we’re there, we scout for insects and disease or anything else that could be problematic with the tree. Our techs will report that to the customer, and it does come with a discount for additional maintenance.”

Bayou Tree Service’s team is always looking to help homeowners recover, maintain and even improve the quality and health of their trees. Experts like Rouse understand just how important trees are — and how customers can take steps to make sure they’re around for generations to come.

“What I tell a lot of customers, especially with their lives oaks, is to remember that this tree has been here long before you lived here and it’s going to be here long after you’re gone,” Rouse says. “So many of the trees that we deal with have a longer lifespan that we do, and they add a tremendous amount of value to a property when they’re regularly maintained.”

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