Spring has sprung! Now that your trees are leafy green once more they may have just jumped to the top of your homeowner maintenance checklist. But did you know that spring is arguably the least advisable time of year for many pruning jobs? After a long winter dormancy, trees need their fresh new leaves for photosynthesis in order to replenish the stores of nutrients they consumed while they were bare. So leave the large reduction jobs for another season and check out this list of tree tasks that are great for springtime instead!
Just like it sounds, deadwooding is a specific type of pruning that removes only the dead wood from your trees. Though a professional can spot dead wood in any season, it’s presence becomes highly apparent to all in the spring when most of your tree leafs out but the dead limbs remain bare and unsightly. When done properly, deadwooding doesn’t require making any live cuts, which means trees like oaks that are more susceptible to contracting diseases in the spring won’t be at any greater risk. Plus dead wood begets dead wood by shading out healthy limbs, so having it removed early in the growing season is best for your tree.
As long as it’s still early enough in the season, fruit trees can be pruned in such a way as to promote a greater yield and at lower heights within the canopy so as to make harvesting easier. Not to mention having an Arborist assess your fruit tree’s health early in the season could help head off any potential infestation and/or disease threats.
Spring is an ideal time for systemic treatments, both preventative and therapeutic. Because a tree must be photosynthesizing in order for systemic treatments to work, you may have been waiting all winter to have an Arborist treat your tree. Additionally, trees aren’t the only thing coming out of dormancy this time of year. Common tree pests like aphids are awake and multiplying and are best controlled before their numbers get out of hand.
As mentioned previously, trees utilize their stores of energy to survive dormancy in the winter. Now they’re waking up hungry and if the soil around their roots lacks nutrition, they’ll struggle to find anything to eat. Fertilization will help them build back up their reserves quicker and easier to keep them strong and healthy. Not to mention fertilized trees with flowers and/or fruit tend to produce more than their unfertilized counterparts.
Lastly, though many homeowners believe the only appropriate time to plant new trees is in the fall, spring is a perfectly viable time to add to your urban forest, too. As long as your tree planter arms you with appropriate watering and care instructions, you should have no trouble helping a new springtime tree take root before it has to brave its first winter.
So while it may be advisable to wait on some types of pruning this season, there’s still lots that can be done to help your property flourish this time of year. And if you’re uncertain what your trees need and when, our Arborist assessments are always free!