As a homeowner, there will be times when you want to take the care of your trees into your own hands. While it might seem strange, we understand that – you want to be able to do some things by yourself. It is important to remember that tree care is dangerous and you do want to call a professional for some of the bigger jobs. Still, there are some things you can do by yourself.

Doing some basic maintenance to your trees helps you to better understand them and know when there is something you might need help handling.

However, you do have to make sure that you are using your tools properly, storing them properly, and only using them for what they were intended to do.

So what are some of the tools that should be in your shed? Here are a few:

5. Hand Pruners

Hand pruners
Credit: Thomas
  • Help with basic maintenance
  • Be careful when using them – use eye protection
  • Make sure to clean pruners regularly

Per Garden Products Review, “Pruners (also called clippers, pruning shears, or secateurs) are used to trim and shape plants, deadhead, prune out dead or damaged foliage and small branches, and cut back perennials. They’re one of the most-used gardening tools so it’s important to get a pair that works best for you.”

It might come as a surprise, but you shouldn’t prune your bigger trees. Instead, you can use it to keep up with some routine maintenance on your plants and bushes, especially vegetable plants. You don’t want to cut anything that is thicker than an inch, or you will be doing too much damage.

You have to be extremely judicious with your cutting, and this definitely isn’t something you can do to actually prune your tree, but it can help with maintenance between professional sessions.

4. Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow
Credit: Seabamirum
  • Never goes out of style
  • Helps with all jobs
  • Inspires you to work

What is one of your tools actually encouraged you to do the work? That is what wheelbarrows do. They make most jobs so much easier, even jobs that have nothing to do with trees. Still, from clearing out the leaves from around the base of the tree to picking up after a storm, having a wheelbarrow will make all jobs much, much easier.

One of the reasons you may want a wheelbarrow is because they have been a standard in all tool sheds for years – they go back to about 1220 AD, and the the first wheelbarrows may have had sails, and you have probably used an older one that is still good.

You may want to do some research and purchase your wheelbarrow in person so that you can really get one that fits your style.

3. Sprinkler or Hose

hose
Credit: Brittany Girl 94
  • Regular watering helps trees
  • Can be used throughout the year
  • Timed systems are helpful

When you have trees that are watered, you have happy trees. One of the most important tools that you can use is a sprinkler or hose. When you have a summer with little precipitation, winters where the ground freezes, or just times when everything looks a little parched, a hose comes in handy.

While most of us have hoses in our yards, few people actually have the right kinds of hoses. The Home Depot has a great guide to buying a garden hose that is really great at helping you choose the right one. Remember that everyone has different needs, but you should be able to find a hose that you enjoy using.

2. Rakes

Rake
Credit: Shelton Dunning
  • Useful in many parts of your yard
  • Leaf blowers won’t always do the job
  • Help to keep your gardens clear

According to The Seattle Times“Among landscaping rakes, metal bow rakes are used for moving soil around the garden, mounding dirt to create raised beds, picking up garden debris and tamping the soil. The sharp steel points can dig too deeply into a lawn, however, and, when used to rake leaves, those same points spear the leaves and get clogged easily.”

A rake is another somewhat primitive tool, but sometimes those are the best ones. Many people have moved on from the rake to the leaf blower, but a rake does many things that a leaf blower never will be able to do. A rake forces you to get some physical exercise and get closer to your trees. Use it to clear the base of your tree and allow your roots to get some air and water..

1. Flashlights

flashlight
Credit: David DeHetre
  • Help check out damage after storms
  • Use the light to inspect trees
  • Can help to chase pests away

Another somewhat strange suggestion, but something that you absolutely need, is a flashlight with a fairly long reach. You can use a flashlight to help you inspect your trees from afar, which can be helpful if you are looking at storm damage or you think there is an animal in your tree. You can even use that light to scare animals out of your trees.

Now, for actual tree care, you can use a flashlight to look into the tree when there is a lot of foliage or densely populated branches, because it can be difficult to see when there isn’t any light. This can be extremely helpful when you are looking for diseases or infestations.

According to The Flashlight Guide, you should get a flashlight that has an LED bulb so that you can see the true colors on your tree. If you use an older one, everything takes on a more yellow tint, which can make it hard to spot any problems.

Tree care is difficult, and it isn’t something that you want to do all by yourself. For daily maintenance, you can take a lot of it into your own hands. Still, for bigger or harder jobs like bringing down branches, treating diseases, or pruning your trees, you want to contact a professional.

At Portland Tree Service, we can help you with all of your tree care needs – and we will bring our own tools. For more information about our services, give us a call today at (503) 941-0922.

Header photo courtesy of Abby Lanes on Flickr!