Spring Tree Care Tips
Spring is here. Trees have begun making a statement that the season of life has arrived; flowers bloom, leaves bud, and trees start to reproduce. And that means giving your trees proper spring tree care to enable them to thrive during this growing season. Mayer Tree Service is your go-to partner if you’re looking for a specialist to offer the best spring tree care and ensure your backyard stays healthy.
If you want your trees to thrive and stay healthy throughout the year, spring is the perfect time to give them proper care. Like humans, trees need a proper diet, medication, and hydration. This post discusses the top 12 spring tree care tips to keep your trees healthy for generations!
Let’s delve right in
Trees in our yards and urban areas need extra nutrients to flourish due to a high-stress environment caused by low moisture and construction. Besides, we rake natural sources of nutrients such as grass clippings and leaves, leaving the trees nutrient deficient.
Applying fertilizer will compensate for that and provide the much-needed nutrients to aid in reproduction, flower blooms, and overall tree growth. You should apply fertilizer in early spring when conditions are conducive for growth. Spread the fertilizer evenly on the surface of the soil for best results.
The right proportion of fertilizer for trees should be 3-1-1(nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium). High fertilizer levels will kill the trees since too much nitrogen burns the roots. On the other hand, less fertilizer will mean a deficiency of nutrients for the trees.
2. Check For Insects
The warm spring weather is conducive for insects that attack trees. Most of these insects make their first appearance in early spring. When the weather starts to warm up, pests like Gypsy Moth, caterpillars, beetles, and whiteflies come out. These early spring insects defoliate trees, causing damage and even death if not spotted early.
So when spring sets in, it’s best to scout for tree pests to detect and manage them early to avoid severe damage. The first sign to check for is damaged leaves and stems, yellowish eggs masses on tree stems, and stripped leaves.
If you notice any signs of the pests or the actual pests, contact a professional arborist for a quick treatment. Addressing the problem early on will prevent the spread of diseases and allow your trees to thrive.
3. Spray to Prevent Fungal Infections and Diseases
Various fungal diseases that affect trees flare out during spring when the weather is cool and moist. To keep the fungal infections and diseases from infecting your trees, you need to spray them with fungicides.
Most arborists will advise you to spray your trees early enough before being infected. When fungal diseases infect trees, they can never be cured. The only thing spraying can help with is suppressing the diseases. Therefore, for fungal infections, prevention is better than cure!
Some common fungal diseases that affect trees include; thousands canker disease, sooty mold, oak wilt, hypoxylon canker, etc
Besides spraying, you can prevent fungal infections by;
- Properly maintaining your trees
- Removing fallen leaves
- Avoiding overwatering
- Sanitize tools before use
4. Apply Mulch
Mulching has countless benefits to your trees. It decreases evaporation, insulates tree roots, retains soil moisture, reduces weed growth, and is a source of organic matter for the trees. Applying Mulch is particularly vital for young trees to help them thrive.
But how do you apply Mulch for best results?
Size: Always aim to apply Mulch up to the tree’s drip line. Alternatively, you can opt for a 2-3 foot radius mulch around your tree if you have large trees.
Depth: It should be about 2-4 inches.
Other best practices to observe when mulching;
Mulch away from the trunk and avoid piling to cover the root flare zone
For Mulching young trees, avoid using fresh wood chips as it has a high acidity that could damage the tree
Before applying the new Mulch, remove the old Mulch first.
5. Water To Keep Your Trees Hydrated
During spring, trees need proper hydration for many reasons. Water is crucial for survival and productivity. It transports nutrients and flushes out the tree’s system after being exposed to the winter cold.
You should properly water your trees to grow healthy. If you overwater, your trees might suffocate and die. On the contrary, inadequate water may make the leaves and stem wilt. The rule of thumb is that young trees require 10-15 gallons of water each week during the first year, while mature plants need periodic deep watering, with 1 inch water per week being okay.
Here are some spring tree care tips to help you water your trees properly.
Spring Watering tips:
- Water around the critical root zone using soaker hoses and avoid wetting the foliage to prevent creating a harbor for diseases.
- The best time to water trees is early in the morning; to avoid evaporation
- Make the soil moist but not soaking
- Water slowly and deeply, once or twice per week
How to water
- Place the soaker hose near the critical root zone
- Turn the hose on and let it drip for about 2 hours
- Move it to the next spot and repeat the process
6. Monitor Your Foliage
Always monitor your foliage. The leaves on your tree will always try to speak to you about the overall health of your trees. So learn to read the clues!
Leaves falling may result from diseases, insects eating the leaves, or it could be normal. If you notice there’s only one branch without leaves, that is definitely a concern. Call a professional arborist to identify the problem.
A change in leaves color in specific branches could signify your trees have an issue. While plants change to red coloring in spring due to the increased sugar levels in leaves, changing to a different color in only one branch is not normal.
7. Check for Damaged or Dead Limbs and Branches
Getting rid of damaged or dead limbs and branches on trees allows other branches to grow better. What’s more, the nutrients go where they are needed most. When you remove the damaged and sick branches, nutrients will go to the healthy branches, and the tree can concentrate on the healthy limbs and allow them to grow evenly.
Signs that show branches and limbs are damaged include;
- Branches with no leaves while others have healthy green leaves
- Visible fungal growth or decay
- Fallen off barks, exposing the wood underneath
- Insect damage
- Brittle twigs that break upon bending
- Dry, withered buds
Trimming damaged and dead limbs improves the trees’ health and makes your landscape beautiful and easy to maintain.
8. Edge Planting Beds
Planting beds are great for young plants to flourish and ensure you get healthy trees. However, when unwanted plants invade your planting beds, it becomes stressful for your young trees as they compete for nutrients. The solution to this is edging your planting beds.
Edging creates a border around your planting bed to keep away unwanted plants from taking over and destroying your trees. You can use metal, concrete, or plastic to edge your planting bed.
Early spring is perfect for planting bed edging. During this time, the garden is not in full bloom, meaning you won’t destroy the trees along the edges of your planting bed.
9. Prune Woody Plants
You need to prune woody plants to improve their structure and get rid of deadwood that might be holding them back. What’s more, it prevents pests and diseases by destroying their hideouts.
Always prune woody plants like Rose of Sharon, Summer hydrangea, and shrub roses during spring to allow new growth because such trees blossom on new growth, encouraging an increase in flowers, foliage, and stems. If left unpruned, woody plants become messy discouraging new growth with the only change happening at the top.
Equally, prune the spring-flowering shrubs because they usually bloom at this time. Pruning them during spring helps control their size and shape, get rid of diseased parts and boost the blooms. Also, prune the dead branches to prevent them from holding back the plant.
10. Get A Soil Test
Soil sampling is best done in spring. Why? Because the soil results will indicate what nutrients are available in the soil for your growing trees. The results are also more accurate in spring because nutrients have re-entered the soil rooting zone, where the samples are taken. Consequently, the nutrients will reflect in the test.
Professional arborists also recommend spring as the best time to conduct a soil test since it’s easier to collect good soil samples. The soil is usually loose and not too dry or too wet.
The important thing about soil testing is consistency. If you choose to carry out your soil test in spring, make sure you keep up with the practice for a year after year comparisons.
For accurate soil test results, it’s advisable to involve a professional arborist. Mayer Tree Services will help you conduct a soil test for your land to ascertain the type of fertilizer you need to apply.
11. Check For Furry Creatures That May Have Moved In
Just like plants that bloom in spring, furry creatures also come out from hibernation and become active in spring. Look out for rabbits, deers, mice, rats, hedgehogs, moles, and raccoons. Creatures like deers and rabbits eat woody plants, feeding on their stems, branches, and barks. Mice and rats gnaw holes in trees and make underground pathways that destroy the tree’s roots.
The best way to determine if these creatures have moved in is to check for fresh droppings, underground holes, and damaged trees with tooth marks of rodents. Also, unlike rodents that leave clean cuts on branches, deers gnaw the tips of branches leaving ragged ends.
12. Plan Your Spring Tree Care
Spring is always a busy period for farmers. That’s when tiling happens, fungicides are sprayed, Mulch and fertilizers are applied, and pruning is done. It’s pretty much everything that prepares your trees for healthy growth.
With the period packed with all these activities, it can be easy to forget some crucial activities for your tree’s healthy growth. And that’s where a spring tree care plan comes in. You need to have a long-term tree plant health care plan to ensure you’re giving your trees the care they need in spring.
The plan will also ensure you get each activity right and done at the correct time. The tree diseases are managed on time, irrigation is done when desired, and fertilizers are applied to supply sufficient nutrients for healthy growth.
Get in Touch with Mayer Tree Service Today
Spring is a season of life. It’s the time when your trees start to flourish and the opportunity to provide them with proper care to get healthy trees for generations. An appropriate spring tree care routine will ensure you have strong trees, free from diseases.
Trees, just like everything else, need a little care and consideration. We have discussed how you can give your plants precisely that with our 12 spring tree care tips above that should be easy to implement. For any help applying the tips and overseeing the overall health of your trees, Mayer Tree Service has got you covered! Our team of experts is a phone call away. We will help take care of your trees today!