Get Ready for Spring: 5 New Tips for Tree Care
Spring is a huge time for your trees – they are doing all of the work that they have prepared for over the summer. It is time for them to sprout, grow stronger and taller, and maybe even time for you to plant a few more trees on your property. When it comes to times of the year that you need to pay attention to your trees, spring is definitely the one time you want to do it. Even if you neglect your trees for the rest of the year (which isn’t suggested), you want to dedicate a few hours to each of your trees.
This spring, make it a goal to take better care of your yard and your trees. Here are five essential springtime tree care tips:
5. Clean Up Around the Trees
- Compost everything you can for better soil
- Remove any decorations
- Be gentle removing anything
One of the best (and first) steps you should take for springtime tree care is to clean up around the trunks of your trees and shrubs. Start by removing any holiday lights that you may have left up throughout the winter. These lights can cut off circulation of the trees on the trunk level but also around the branches of the tree. When temperatures remain steady for a week or so at a time, you can then remove any winter wraps that you have on your trees.
Make sure to clean up around the base of the tree as well, collecting twigs, leaves, fruit, nuts, or anything else that might block the trees from getting that all-important rainwater. This is especially important in trees that are older and trees that have yet to establish themselves, according to This Old House.
4. Add Some Mulch
- Make sure mulch is high quality
- Remove old mulch first
- Use 3″ layer of mulch
Another great thing that you can do once you have cleaned up around your trees is to add a layer of mulch. This might sound counterproductive, but adding mulch will actually help your tree to get the water that it needs. Mulch helps your trees and shrubs to get water because it suppresses weeds and retains moisture. Mulch is especially important for your younger trees, but older trees will benefit from mulch as well.
Most often, about a 3-inch layer should do the trick, according to Better Homes and Gardens. However, you do not want to put the mulch right against the tree itself. Putting it too close will invite diseases and molds onto the tree. If you haven’t mulched before, it might be useful to watch a few videos, read up on it, or talk to a tree care professional.
3. Think About Irrigation
- Wait until the soil thaws
- Ensure you use clean water
- Deeply water to start
Of course, trees need water to grow healthy and strong. One of the first things you should do is get some water to the roots of the tree. Even if the spring isn’t that warm, you want to ensure that the trees aren’t drying out. You might even have to water your trees more regularly than normal if your soil is sandy or it doesn’t have enough natural water, according to Colorado State University. If the spring months are incredibly warm, you will have to water even more than that.
If you have a sprinkler system, you want to ensure that they are cleared of any debris that will clog the lines and that there aren’t any leaks. Ensure that the sprinklers are aimed at the appropriate space, the roots, and not the foliage of the tree.
2. Prune the Trees
- Best pruning time depends on the tree
- Ensure that you use proper techniques
- You may want to call a professional
Sometimes, trees have a good time to get pruned and sometimes, that is during the spring months. Trees that have flowers or buds on them technically need to be pruned during a different season, but others can be pruned in the early spring months.
According to HGTV, “Prune shrubs that don’t flower in spring, including rose of Sharon, crape myrtle, hardy hibiscus, butterfly bush and Peegee hydrangea. Place pruning cuts to shape plants and thin shrub interiors. In the coldest areas, you should ideally wait to prune summer bloomers until all danger of frost has passed.”
If you do decide to prune your own trees, you want to be very careful to use best practices. You want to use professional tools that have been cleaned properly. It is especially important to make cuts that are clean and won’t get infected. If possible, using a professional is the best possible approach to this type of spring maintenance.
1. Always Inspect Your Trees
- Check around the trunks
- Make sure the trees are budding properly
- Call a professional if you find any problems
While you are walking around your yard, just stretching your legs from the winter months, you want to inspect your trees for any problems. This is key to keeping your trees healthy. Problems will typically emerge in the spring months, especially for trees that are just blooming.
According to the University of California, you want to check for dead branches, multiple trunks, trees that won’t flower, cavities and decay, cracks, and any weak spots. This is just a starter list, there are tons of other things you want to check for as well.
If you notice any issues with your tree, you want to call a professional to handle the issues as soon as possible. Often, springtime is when trees are most susceptible to treatments and you have a better chance at saving your trees.
If you are looking for a tree care professional in Richmond, give Ridgeline Tree Service a call today at (804) 378-2900. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any springtime issues that you may find.
Header photo courtesy of Aperture Armadillo on Flickr!