Trees enhance our lives in so many ways. They keep our air clean, bring year-round beauty and interest to our landscapes, shade us in the summer, put on a show-stopping display in the fall and fill us with wonder with their snow-covered branches in winter. They do so much to enrich our lives and ask for so little in return. Notice that we said little — not nothing — in return. While it’s true that trees are low maintenance, that’s not the same as no maintenance!
In order to really thrive, the trees that adorn our yards need a little help from us from time to time. That’s why we think now is a good time to start thinking about spring tree care and what you’ll need to get it done right.
The Big Clean-Up
Early spring is the time to clean up debris that’s collected underneath trees over the winter — twigs, leaves and fallen fruit. If left in place, these can harm trees that are susceptible to fungal disease.
Make sure to remove any holiday lights remaining in trees since leaving them in place can hinder growth.
Once temperatures begin to warm up, remove any protective wraps around tree trunks or shrubbery.
Stock up on Mulch
A three-inch layer of mulch around trees up to 10 years of age is essential, but it’s also good for older trees since it helps hold moisture and suppresses weed growth.
Don’t start watering until the ground has thawed or it’ll just run off. Make sure to deeply water trees that were exposed to de-icing salts so they can be washed away from your trees’ roots. Don’t let the fact that the weather is still cool fool or deter you; your trees can still dry out. In fact, you may have to water them several times as the weather continues to warm up.
Now is a good time to check your sprinkler system for leaks. Make sure that sprinkler heads are adjusted so they’re not spraying water on leaves of any trees that are susceptible to fungal disease (flowering dogwood is one).
Major pruning for most trees is ideally done during the winter dormancy period, but it’s okay to remove any dead or broken branches in the spring.
Delegate These Last Few Chores to the Professionals
- Have your trees professionally inspected for signs of disease or damage.
- Have them treated for any disease that’s found.
- Have them fertilized with a nitrogen based fertilizer in preparation for the busy growth season.
Take good care of your trees and there’s a good chance they’ll outlive you. In Wayne, New Jersey and its surrounding counties, count on the professionals at Trees Unlimited, LLC, where we have a passion for tree care!