5 Must-Do Tree Care Tasks For The Winter-Spring Transition
As winter moves into spring, your landscape trees begin to come out of dormancy. Proper care at this time can prevent damage and disease while also ensuring your trees look their best and are at their healthiest through the upcoming spring and summer.
1. Remove Winter Wraps
Trees are wrapped during winter for one of two reasons. Evergreens often end up with burlap wrap to protect the foliage from winter burns caused by drying cold winds. Young trees, usually deciduous, sometimes have their trunks cracked to prevent sun scald on sunny but freezing days. Come late winter and early spring, these wraps must come off before daytime temperatures warm too much.
2. Stake for Stability
Frost heave and trunk movement from winter winds can leave younger trees loose in the soil. This makes them more prone to a blowdown once spring rain storms arrive. If you notice a loose trunk or churning up of the soil around the base of a trunk, then you need a tree care service to assess root health and stake the tree so the roots have a chance to anchor it better.
3. Schedule Heavy Pruning
Late winter into early spring is the main time to prune most deciduous trees. At this point the tree is just on the cusp of breaking winter dormancy, so you can trim heavily without shocking the tree but it will heal over the cuts quickly in a few weeks when the flush of quick spring growth begins. Your tree service will cut out damaged branches, those with weak form, and excess growth so the crown is open and healthy.
4. Apply Needed Fungicides
Fungal diseases can overtake a tree in spring when the buds have just broken. The cause is spring moisture combined with cooler temperatures — plum conditions for many fungi. If you have fungus-susceptible trees, your service may recommend a fungicide spray in early spring to help kill any spores that could lead to disease problems later.
5. Replenish the Mulch
Mulching around a tree trunk serves many purposes. The mulch slows water loss from evaporation, suppresses weed growth, and it provides a buffer zone around the trunk so lawn equipment doesn't come close enough to damage the bark. After a long winter, the mulch layer will likely be thinned out. Late winter and early spring, after the soil thaws, is the optimum time to replenish the mulch around your landscape trees.
Speak to local tree trimmers to learn more.