Top 5 Tips for Spring Tree Care
Springtime is the ideal time to give the trees on your premises some much-needed love and attention. Most of them have basically been asleep for the winter months, and have been exposed to all kinds of abuse from Mother Nature, so springtime provides a good break from all that. Having lived through snowstorms, ice storms, and strong winds for several months, it’s time to pamper your trees a little bit, so they can thrive through the upcoming warm season, after awakening from their hibernation. Here are the five most important things you can do to help your trees out, and get them off to a good start for the coming warm weather season.
Cleaning around your trees
Most likely, your trees have had all kinds of material piled up against them during the past several months. There could be dead branches, leaves, and all kinds of other things blown up against your trees from the neighborhood. If you haven’t already removed any Christmas decorations you put on your trees, now is the time to remove them. It’s also a good idea to pull any weeds which are in the immediate area of your growing trees. When you’ve cleared all the debris away, you should rake about three or 4 feet around the perimeter of your tree, so that other steps in this process will be easier.
Once you have the area around the trees completely cleared away, you’ll be able to put down some mulch. You should make the mulch somewhere between three and four inches thick all the way around the tree, and since you’ve already raked out the area, the mulch should be sitting on clear ground. Mulch is very important for helping your trees to retain water, rather than having it run off and be wasted. The mulch will also help to suppress the growth of weeds, so they’re not in competition with your trees.
Watering your trees
It’s always a good idea to give your trees a good thorough watering in the springtime, as the weather begins to get warmer. How much you water them will depend on the age of your trees and how well-established they are. For trees that have been in place a while, don’t water right next to the trunk, because most of the roots are actually much further away from the tree than that. A younger tree can be watered close to the trunk, since that’s where the root system will be located. Your watering schedule should feature deep watering during any given session, as opposed to more frequent watering. Roots which are one to two feet below the surface will thus get more moisture, and will be able to retain it better.
The reason springtime is best for pruning is because most of the branches have been dormant for several months, so they won’t be harmed. It’s also a lot easier to see what you’re doing when there are no leaves on the branches. Your pruning process should be to remove all those branches which are either diseased or dead, and you should also cut back branches which are rubbing together. If you have older trees that are very well-established, you’re better off to leave the pruning to professionals, because they’ll have the appropriate equipment for getting to all those branches.
Before everything starts blooming for the new year, you should do your spring fertilizing to help your trees thrive. Fertilizing in the springtime gives your trees a big boost for new growth and for maintaining good health. Large trees should get somewhere between 1/4 pound to 1/2 pound of nitrogen for each inch of tree diameter. Your fertilizer should be applied right on the drip line, and to have the fertilizer absorbed more quickly, you can actually drill holes into the ground around your tree, and insert the fertilizer.