Pre-Spring Tree Care Tips
Date March 03, 2022
We know – it seems like just last week North Texans was protecting their trees for yet another sudden freeze, and here we are talking about spring again already. As crazy as our weather can be, a much sunnier forecast is no doubt fast approaching! Be ready for the change in your trees’ needs with our handy tips for some pre-spring tree care!
Inspect your trees for signs of winter damage or disease
First things first – while your trees are still bare, take a close, unobstructed look at them to check for any signs your trees may have experienced damage during the winter.
- Evaluate your tree’s shape as a whole to make sure it’s properly balanced for both stability and your aesthetic preference.
- Look closer at your trees that have a double trunk to assess their stability. Is their split U- or V-shaped? U-shaped splits are typically secure, while acute V-shaped splits are prone to leading to further trunk splitting.
- Check for tiny, burrowed holes around the bark or any areas of detached bark. These likely mean pests or diseases may be present. Figuring out what you’re up against ASAP can make all the difference in planning to get the problem under control over the coming season.
Water Your Plants Thoughtfully
Water is an essential element for maintaining the health of your yard, but beware – overwatering your trees can be very harmful to them. If the soil surrounding them gets overwhelmed with moisture for too long, the excess water can end up choking the oxygen supply to the root system below.
It also harms the good microbes in the soil that help protect the tree from diseases like root rot. Foliage issues may also be a result of excessive watering.
Fertilize to Feed Your Trees the Right Nutrients
If you aren’t confident about your watering skills, a better option for you may be to spread mulch over your yard instead and March is the perfect time to do it in DFW.
Mulch is excellent for keeping the soil below it saturated and between 15- and 20-degrees Fahrenheit cooler than surface soil temperature in the spring and summer. It also helps to prevent weeds from sprouting up and support root health. Just add about 2 to 4 inches of your preferred mulch material over your trees’ root systems.
Check out our recent blog post all about how to make your own DIY fertilizer!
Prune at the Right Time
While frost has certainly receded here in Texas, there’s still just a slim margin of time before the local trees are all woken up from dormancy to start sprouting new shoots and buds.
These are the last ideal days for safe pruning so that any recovery from accidental cuts or wounds will be easiest on the tree’s energy and nutrient resources.
Pruning for Tree Health
Prune all the branches higher than four feet from the ground that are growing inward toward the center of the trunk. Trim away any branches that rub against each other, scrape the trunk, or that have died. Perhaps most importantly, if there is any sign of disease in a branch, it needs to be pruned immediately before the disease spreads any further.
Pruning for Canopy Shape
If you’ve got a younger tree, pre-spring pruning may be an excellent time to simply shape it to your aesthetic preferences. For fruit trees, certain canopy shapes may also support better fruit yields!
Speaking of Fruit Trees…
Remove Any Non-Pollinated or Unhealthy Fruit
If you’re lucky enough to have fruit-bearing trees in your care, give a little shake to the tree to loosen any fruit that won’t be healthy or developed enough for you to harvest. Double check what’s left to make sure no ‘bad apples’ have been left holding on!
Clear Away Low Producing Branches
If you spot several unhealthy fruits hanging off the same branch, you may also want to consider simply pruning off the entire branch altogether. It’s likely they’re a symptom of an entirely unhealthy branch.
Reduce Fruit Density to Improve Fruit Yield
Give your fruit some room to grow by keeping fruit clusters to just 3 or 4 healthy
Instead of tight-spaced clusters of 12 or more fruits, you want only 3-4 healthy ones. Having too much fruit in one place makes it challenging for the tree to hold on to it. The fruit may also not ripen properly.
Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes new growth and opportunities to improve your landscape. Our essential tips will help you protect against pests and disease, fertilize efficiently, and prune your fruit trees correctly. If you have any questions or need help getting started, don’t hesitate to contact TreeNewal. We’re always happy to share our expertise with fellow gardeners!
If you need help with getting your trees and tree care ready for spring, get in touch with the ISA-certified arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.
To learn more about Pre-Spring Tree Care Tips, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams
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Healthy trees, healthy lives.