A spring tree care plan is extremely important to make sure your tree thrives in during the growing season. Below you will find what spring tree care you should be performing from March-May.
Fertilizing is one of the best ways to keep your trees healthy. Applying in the spring provides extra nutrients and helps your tree push out new growth.
Trees in the forest have an abundance of nutrients because of the delicate forest environment that has evolved over millions of years. The trees in our yards; however, are a whole other story. Trees in urban and suburban environments face high-stress conditions like low moisture availability, compaction, physical damage, and construction. Plus as we rake away leaves, twigs, and fall bark, we remove nutrients that would have naturally decomposed, feeding the roots.
When faced with these conditions trees will not reach their full landscape potential, have a shorter lifespan, and will be more susceptible to insects and diseases. To combat this you must invest in a tree maintenance program that mitigates these high-stress conditions. Other than regular trimming, fertilization one of the best tree maintenance efforts you can do.
Spray To Prevent Fungal Diseases
The cool moist weather of spring creates a perfect breeding ground for fungal diseases. Invest in preventive fungicide sprays to keep your trees from being infected. Once trees are infected with a tree fungus the infection cannot be cured, only suppressed which is why prevention is key when it comes to fungi.
Other tips to prevent infection include:
- Don’t over water
- Make sure your soil drains properly
- Boost overall health with proper maintenance
- Sanitize gardening tools between plants
- Rake and remove falling leaves from your yard
Common Tree Fungal diseases include; armillaria root rot, phytophthora root rot, thousands canker disease, phytophtoria bleeding cankers, cytospora canker, hypoxylon canker, cercospora leaf spot, anthracnose, sooty mold, powdery mildew, shot hole fungus, verticillium wilt, oak wilt, and dutch elm disease.
Invest In A Year-Long Plant Health Care Plan
Spring is when all the tree diseases and pests begin to emerge. Prevent these pests & keep your property healthy from Spring- Fall by investing in a year-long plant health care plan.
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Mulching helps retain soil moisture and promotes the development of organic matter. This will help prevent soil compaction and will provide numerous benefits for your tree.
Applying mulch around trees is one of the best things you can do for the health of your trees. Especially for young trees, mulching is a quick and cost-effective technique that provides numerous benefits.
How To Apply Mulch:
Size: The best mulching goes out as far as the drip line of the tree. However, this isn’t reasonable for most homeowners with large trees. If this isn’t practical, apply mulch in a 2 to 3-foot radius around the tree instead.
Depth: About 2-4 inches
- Do not pile the mulch against the trunk of the tree. Instead keep it away from the trunk, so that the root flare zone is visible.
- To refresh the look of mulch, lightly rake the top layers of the mulch, or simply remove the old mulch and replace with new mulch. Don’t pile new layers on top of old ones.
- Do not use fresh wood chips for mulching around young trees. Fresh wood chips have a higher acidity and can injury a young tree.
Water To Keep Plants Hydrated
In spring, trees and shrubs are pushing out new growth. To be successful they need to stay properly hydrated. Watering will also flush out their system if they’ve been exposed to ice melts/rock salt.
Watering Tips For Spring Tree Care:
- Focus on the critical root zone when watering. Wetting foliage is pointless and can promote the spread of diseases.
- DON’T use a sprinkler. This only wets the top layer of soil and doesn’t properly water the tree.
- Water in the morning to avoid evaporation and to help trees deal with the heat throughout the day.
- Water deeply and thoroughly 1 to 2 times a week.
- Put your normal hose somewhere in the critical root zone.
- Turn hose on to a dribble
- Leave for 2-3 hours
- Move the hose to a different spot in the critical root zone and leave for 2-3 hours. Repeat this step 1-3 times.
- You want the soil to be moist but not soaking. You should NOT be able to make a mud ball out of the soil.
- It’s okay for some portions of the soil to be wet and some to be dry.
Protect You & Your Family from Mosquitoes
Although not typically part of your summer tree care plan, it’s important to invest in a mosquito program. Mosquitoes and ticks bring deadly diseases like Zika, West Nile, and Lyme, into your property. Protect your family with our Organic Mosquito& Tick Control Program and these DIY tips.
- Keep doors & windows closed so that mosquitoes can’t enter your home.
- If you utilize screen doors/window screens, periodically check them for small rips and tears which mosquitoes could enter through.
- Do not allow any water to stand near your house. Mosquitoes bred and multiply in stagnant water. Make sure to pour out kiddie pools, buckets, or children’s toys that collect rain water.
- Change water in bird baths and scrub them twice a week.
- If you have outside pets, empty their water bowls daily.
- Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters create a perfect environment for mosquito breeding.
- Mosquitoes are most active at dusk & dawn. If possible remain indoors during these times.
Watch for Tree & Shrub Pests
The warm weather of spring activates lots of insects and diseases that can damage your trees & shrubs. Keep an eye out for damage so you can catch these pests early.
Download Our Essential Steps for Spring Tree Care Infographic