Spring tree maintenance – what you need to know
Posted on: April 12th, 2019
When compared to the attention plants and flowers require, you may assume that trees can take care of themselves – but you would be wrong. Trees need care 365 days a year but now that it’s spring, it’s even more important to focus on tree maintenance before summer arrives.
During the winter months, your trees go through a process called dormancy, which is similar to hibernation. Everything in the tree slows down, including growth, metabolism and energy consumption.
Spring is a busy time for trees. Coniferous trees create new growth and deciduous trees sprout new leaves. All trees grow and reproduce, sap flows and flowers are pollinated.
Spring is also the best time to prepare your trees for the summer. High temperatures can put trees under significant stress. During drought conditions, trees without enough water simply won’t grow, and they end up vulnerable to pests and fungi. By carrying out some simple spring tree maintenance, you can identify and deal with any potential problems, and ensure your trees are in optimum condition to withstand the challenges summer brings.
Spring tree maintenance tip 1. Look for any damage or disease
Poor health in trees can be down to a number of factors, including disease, insect or animal damage, old age, environmental factors or competition from other trees. Symptoms of diseased or damaged trees may include:
- Trees turning brown
- Thinning or fading tree crowns
- Heavy leaf or needle loss
- Smaller or deformed leaves or needles
- Dead branches
- Less tree growth than expected
- Signs of decay fungi growing, such as mushrooms or conks
It is imperative that any disease, damage or infestation is treated quickly and in the correct manner. If you are unsure of what you’re meant to be looking for, your local tree surgeon will be happy to offer a professional inspection.
Spring tree maintenance tip 2. Prune dead branches
Pruning both removes any potentially dangerous branches that may have been damaged in the winter, and helps your tree remain healthy. However, it is important to remember that unnecessary or poorly executed pruning can damage your tree and leave them vulnerable to disease.
Spring tree maintenance 3. Mulch your trees
Tree roots are often just six to twelve inches below the soil surface, leaving them vulnerable if exposed. A tree’s natural habitat tends to be in densely forested areas, with tree roots covered by organic matter. By adding mulch around your tree, you are recreating a tree’s natural habitat, locking in moisture, providing cool, oxygenated conditions and controlling weeds.
Spring tree maintenance tip 4. Fertilise
Spring is the time to add fertiliser to your tree. Fertiliser replaces the nutrients your soil loses over the winter months, providing your trees with the protection they need to ward off disease, drought and insects.
Spring tree maintenance tip 5. Plant new trees
This time of year is the perfect time to plant new trees, which if done correctly, can significantly enhance your garden. Make sure you do some research on which trees are best suited to your garden’s soil, look at which positions trees will thrive and the types of trees that will do well in the environment.
Again, if you are unsure, consult a tree surgeon or your local garden centre; they will also be able to offer advice on early care for your tree saplings.
We hope you found our article ‘Spring tree maintenance – what you need to know’ of interest. If you would like our trained and experienced tree surgeons to help you prepare your trees for summer, please call 01277 229709. If you have a specific question about spring tree maintenance, why not Ask Matt?