To many people, springtime is for spring cleaning, yard sales, and tidying up the garden. With endless to-do lists like these, plus conflicting information found online, it can be hard to determine what needs to make it onto your spring checklist for your trees. Look no further! We are providing a comprehensive list of items that will set your trees up for success this growing season.
1. Spring Cleaning
Cleaning in spring is proven to boost your mood and give you a fresh start for the rest of the year. The same goes for your trees! Removing fallen branches and raking up dead leaves from around your trees can help prepare them for the growing season, improve their environment, reduce the spread of leaf diseases, and prevent soil-related problems down the road.
2. Spring Tree Pruning
While the dormant season is generally the best time to prune your trees, many homeowners might not notice that their trees need to be pruned until they begin to leaf out. While our certified arborists can tell what branches are dead whether they have leaves on them or not, you might notice that some of your branches have no leaves on them while others do, indicating that your tree has deadwood. This deadwood should be pruned out by a professional tree care provider like RTEC Treecare.
3. Spring Diseases
Unfortunately, April showers don’t just bring May flowers – they also bring foliar fungal diseases. If unmanaged, the wet conditions experienced in spring can cause these fungal pathogens to wreak havoc on your trees and shrubs. In the DMV area, some of the landscape staples that are most susceptible to spring fungal diseases include dogwood, boxwood, cherry, and laurel. We recommend preventative management of fungal pathogens, as these diseases cause irreversible damage to existing foliage. However, if you notice dark spots or holes in your leaves, we can still help manage the disease so it doesn’t spread to the new growth or to other plants nearby.
4. Feed Your Trees
Winter often causes trees and shrubs to lose nutrients. Therefore, in Spring, we recommend giving your plants a boost with a Bio-Stimulant treatment. Having our Environmental Specialist on site also gives us an opportunity to inspect your trees and shrubs for any sign of decline, pests, and / or disease.
Many homeowners apply mulch in the Spring, but did you know that a lot of homeowners (and even landscapers) are actually making things worse by mulching in the commonly accepted way? You may have seen your neighbors put mulch around their trees and pile it so high that it comes partway up the trunk. This is a harmful practice, as it blocks nutrients and water from reaching the roots and conceals potentially fatal concerns like root rot or girdling roots. Instead, the goal of mulching is to mimic the forest floor. Check out our article on mulching for best practices or contact us for help!
6. Soil Management
Spring is a great time to check on soil composition to ensure that your trees’ environment has the optimal pH balance and nutrients to thrive. Take a sample and submit it to your local university extension office for testing
While you’re taking your sample, you can also look for evidence of soil compaction. This condition makes it difficult for nutrients and water to penetrate the critical root zone.
7. Canopy Protection Program
The best gift you can give to your landscape (and yourself!) is hassle-free, ongoing, preventative care by experts. Spring is the perfect time to sign up for our Canopy Protection Program. This program ensures that an expert is on your property at least seven (7) times per year, so we can look out for and address problems, meaning you don’t have to! The Canopy Protection Program is great for landscapes with established trees, ornamental trees, and woody shrubs. If you’re planning to plant new trees this spring, the Canopy Protection Program can help mitigate issues such as transplant shock, nutrient deficiencies, and pest infestations which are common on newly planted trees.
Contact RTEC Treecare to Knock out your Spring Checklist!
There’s no shortage of things to do this Spring, so let us take tree and shrub care off your plate. Contact us at 703.573.3029 for help with your spring tree care checklist.