Give Your Trees Every Spring Advantage You Can: 7 Tips for DIY Spring Tree Care

Caring For Your Trees During Spring

Spring is one of the most delightful times of year to have the good fortune to be the owner of trees. The first hint of pinkish-green growth along the branches is enough to foster a glow of hope that winter is finally behind us and warmer, calmer weather is on the horizon.

But slow down! Before we get too excited about our trees bursting forth with new leaves and fresh blossoms, we need to make sure we’re setting them up for success and caring for them well. What are the best ways to help your trees spring forward into springtime in robust health?

1.    Check for Damage from Winter

Winter weather can bring out the harshest conditions that the average backyard tree has to survive all year. High winds, freezing temperatures, ice, rain, sleet and snow – these can all do a number on your trees. Before the spring growth is well underway, do an inspection of your trees. Do you see any damaged branches? Any places the bark is missing or has been compromised? Any signs of infestation or disease? Just taking a look, before any damaged areas can be obscured by fresh growth, can give you an idea of how well your trees weathered the winter, and let you know if you need to call in an expert tree service to take care of any problems. And, if any of your trees didn’t make it through the harsh winter weather, call your local tree service company for help with removing dead trees.

2.    Remove Weeds, Competing Plants, and Extra Debris

Weeds and competing plants (such as ivy) can rob your tree of nutrients and impede its growth. Extra debris (such as dead leaves, broken branches, or other detritus) can foster mold growth and obscure damage or other problems to the roots or the base of the trunk. Removing these items before the wet spring season is underway will set your trees up for the healthiest and most successful of spring growing seasons.

3.    Look for Branches/Areas That Are Not Budding

As the first green or pink buds begin to form on the branches of your trees in the spring, keep an eye out for any areas that don’t seem to have new growth – the new growth on a tree should come out more or less all at once. If instead, you notice that growth on one branch or section of the tree seems to be delayed, it’s a good idea to have an arborist come take a closer look – this can be a sign of damage or disease, and it will be better to deal with any problems sooner rather than later.

4.    Water Well

Hydrated trees are happy trees! Trees are dormant in winter, and their water needs are minimal (which is a good thing if you live in a climate where all outdoor water freezes in winter). But once the weather starts to warm up, be sure to water your trees deeply, thoroughly, and regularly to provide them with all of the hydration they need for their busy spring growing season.

5.    Plant New Trees

Spring is an ideal time to plant new trees. The weather is getting warmer and is generally calmer, and the long time between spring planting and harsh winter weather guarantees that your trees have plenty of time to be acclimated and deeply rooted before winter storms assail them.

6.    Mulch

Proper mulching is supportive to trees. It restricts the growth of weeds, and concentrates moisture and nutrients in the area where the tree needs it most. Spring, which brings with it increased needs from your trees for nourishment and hydration, is a perfect time for a fresh helping of mulch.

7.    Fertilize

Not all trees require fertilizer, and not all fertilizers are created equally. Younger trees benefit the most from fertilizer, but make sure you are using the type that benefits your trees in your area the best. It’s your best bet to consult with a local arborist or tree service company to get knowledgeable advice on the best product for your situation – using the wrong fertilizer can, at worst, actually do more harm than good, and, at best, can be a waste of time and money.