Anticipating Our Warm Weather Landscapes

Spring is here. Kind of.

This time of year in Minnesota, we start to get impatient during the transition from cold to warm weather. Our yards slowly start to show signs of spring and new bloom. The gradual progression is important and it is the time for you to start preparing your yard for spring and summer.

SPRING TREE CARE TIPS

Here are some things you can do during this interim to prepare your trees and shrubs for a great warm season:

1. CLEAN UP

Trees need a spring cleaning, too!

  • Remove any holiday lights you still have up; you could risk the tree growing around the lights.
  • When the weather is warm – and stays warm – remove any protective wraps you have on your trees and shrubs.
  • Rake and gather debris that have collected in your tree or at the base such as dead leaves, fruit and broken branches. This debris can transmit fungal diseases to your trees.

2. MULCH

Mulch helps trees retain moisture and subdue weeds. Place about 3 inches of mulch around the base of the tree, but not against the trunk; mulch piled against the trunk holds moisture and heat, which helps give diseases such as canker an easy point of access.

3. WATER

Don’t water your trees and shrubs quite yet. It is best to wait until the ground thaws so you don’t just create runoff. Here are a few more expert watering tips:

  • Give extra water to the trees and shrubs that may have absorbed any de-icing salt during the winter – like ones near the road, driveway or sidewalks. You want to flush out that salt.
  • Even though we are still getting some cool weather, we are seeing 50-degree days. Water your trees and shrubs whenever the weather warms.
  • Check your sprinkler system for mechanical issues like leaks, clogs or puddles; also, check what exactly you are watering.  Sprinklers shouldn’t spray water onto foliage of trees susceptible to fungal diseases. Constantly wet leaves increase the risk of these trees developing diseases.

4. INSPECT

How do your trees look? Do they look ill or unstable? Are there large insect or animal holes? Did the get too close to power lines during a winter storm?

If you notice any of the above issues, you need to call a certified arborist. An arborist has the skills to keep your trees safe, healthy and to remove any dangerous trees.