With the winter season over and the spring season upon us, most of our teams are busy working away with spring clean-up and maintenance on our clients’ properties. Now is the perfect time to prepare landscapes for healthy growth throughout the spring and into the fall and late winter months.
Trees play an important role in the curb appeal and value of your property. That’s why it’s so important to ensure they are properly cared for and maintained.
Here at Clintar, we have teams of landscapers who are experts in tree care and maintenance. We put together a checklist of tree care tips for spring to help you keep your trees healthy and looking their best.
Tip#1: Inspect Your Trees
The first step is to take a close look at all of the individual trees on your property. Check for any dead or dying branches, as well as any trees that may be damaged or diseased.
Here are some indicators that a tree is dead or dying on your property:
- Trunk Damage: vertical cracks or seams on the trunk may be present if the health of the tree has been compromised.
- Bare Branches: during a season when leaves are expected to be growing, bare branches indicate that the tree is dying and damaged or dead and decaying.
- Signs of Damaged Roots: if the tree is leaning or epicormic shoots are growing from the tree, this indicates that the tree is under stress.
- Fungus: if a fungus is growing on the trunk or branches, this signifies internal rotting in the tree.
It’s also important to look for any signs of pests (like moths or aphids) or insect infestations.
In fact, in recent years, Southern Ontario and parts of the United States have experienced a pandemic of dead and decaying trees due to the destruction caused by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) insect. These insects are densely populated and growing in numbers, and they’re spreading to other regions of Central and Eastern Canada. These insects can wreak havoc if left unchecked.
If you think your trees may be infected with disease or infested with destructive insects such as the EAB, it’s important to contact a professional right away to get your landscape back in check.
Tip #2: Prune Dead or Damaged Branches
Once you’ve identified any dead or damaged branches, it’s time to prune them. Pruning is an important step in tree care as it helps to promote new growth and keep the tree healthy.
When pruning, be sure to use the proper tools and techniques. If done improperly, pruning can damage the tree and make it more susceptible to disease and pests.
Always cut branches at the point where they join the trunk or main branch using clean, sharp tools.
Tip #3: Fertilize Your Trees
Fertilizing is another important step in tree care that is often overlooked. Just like any other plant, trees need nutrients to grow and stay healthy.
- When choosing a fertilizer, be sure to select one that is specifically designed for trees. Different trees have different nutrient requirements, so it’s important to get the right fertilizer for your particular type of tree.
- The method in which the fertilizer is applied is also extremely important. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid over or under-fertilizing — both can be harmful to your trees.
Tip #4: Mulch Around Your Trees
Mulching is a great way to protect your trees and the soil from weeds, pests, and extreme weather conditions. It helps to retain moisture and keep roots cool in the summer and insulate them in the winter.
When applying mulch, be sure to use organic material such as wood chips or shredded bark. Avoid using rocks or stones as they can actually damage the tree’s roots.
Apply a layer of mulch that is about 4-6 inches deep on top of soil, being careful not to mound it up against the trunk of the tree.
Tip #5: Adequately Water Your Trees
Water is essential for all trees, especially young trees that are still establishing themselves.
- Be sure to water your trees deeply and slowly so that the roots have time to absorb the moisture.
- It’s important to water trees early in the day so that the leaves have time to dry off before nightfall. This helps to prevent disease and fungal growth.
- Depending on the type of tree, the amount of water it will need will vary. Be sure to check with a professional or do some research to find out how much water your particular type of tree needs.
- In general, most trees need about an inch of water per week. However, during periods of drought or extreme heat, you may need to water more frequently.
Tip #6: Protect Your Trees from Pests
As we mentioned earlier, insect pests like aphids or European (gypsy) moths can be a major problem for trees, causing serious damage and even death.
The best way to protect your trees from pest populations is to have them treated by a professional before they become infested.
There are many different types of pest control treatments available, so it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for the type of trees you have on your property.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid harming your trees.
Tip #7: Bring in a Professional
Although you can care for your trees, there are some tasks that are best left to the professionals.
If you’re not sure how to care for your trees, or if you think they may be sick or infested with pests, it’s always best to bring in an expert.
Tree care is an important part of maintaining a healthy landscape. By following these simple tips, you can keep your trees healthy and looking their best all year long.
If you have any further questions about tree care or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact Clintar today!
Tree Care and Maintenance — The Clintar Way
At Clintar, we practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests through a combination of techniques, including the application of biological controls and habitat manipulation.
We select pest control materials carefully to minimize health risks to people, the environment, and other living inhabitants of the land.
It’s also important to note that some trees can be treated for infestation protection year-round, while others may only have a small time frame for effective treatment and protection.
To learn more about protecting and maintaining the trees on your property, inquire with your local Clintar team about treatment, prevention, and IPM techniques that would be safe for your staff, clients, and landscape.