(Continued from A Year in the Life of Your Tree - 6)
By early summer your tree is at full speed. We will have passed the solstice and the days are about as long as they ever get. With all that light and heat the tree is in full production, and as continued growth goes on the tree is storing lots of energy for when it will be needed, in case of insect attack, storm damage, hail, or any other unforeseen problem. Trees are the great savers of this world, and are not happy without a bursting savings account.
On the broad leaf trees the flowers are long gone and the fruit and seeds have made some progress. The new twigs are starting to harden up, becoming lignified and the evergreens have finished their one brief shoot extension. Often called candles, the evergreen shoots have now reached their full length and the terminal and lateral buds are progressing.
By now you may have had some insect visits, caterpillars or their cousins. There may be a few holes in leaves or some chewed edges, but really nothing to worry about. You have learned what is a threat and what is not. Let them have their lunch. You have got to know your garden and soil situation. You are keeping the ground moist, the trees are looking vigorous; feeding a few bugs is part of what they were designed for.
In early August many of the broad leaf trees will experience a second growth flush, the shoots will make another stretch to complete their yearly growth, before starting the long decline into shorter days, cooler nights and the onset of autumn.
(Continued in A Year in the Life of Your Tree - 8)