Provide Tree Care to Prepare for Spring

In this article with Angie's List, Scott Johnson, district manager of Davey's Nashville office, tells readers how they can prepare their landscape for spring. 

Posted: March 15, 2016 

Spring is the perfect time to give trees the extra TLC they need to make it through the rest of the year. Prepare your trees for warm, sunny days with this springtime checklist.

Tree inspection

Most trees are leafing and flowering in spring. If one area is looking sparse, something’s wrong. Usually when a tree is stressed, branches die from the top, or crown, down. Insects, diseases, drought, soil compaction or root disease can cause tree stress.

Check leaves. Yellowing leaves could be a sign of excess water from winter storms, indicating poor soil drainage and too much moisture.

While healthy trees bend along with the wind, decayed wood cracks and breaks. Look for wounds, holes and cankers in the bark. 

Finally, check the roots. Look for stunted growth, discolored, loose or damp wood and fungi growing near the base of the tree. Fungi can weaken wood tissue, resulting in cracks, seams and other internal wounds.

Trees showing signs of stress should be cared for immediately. Hire an arborist for further inspection and maintenance. An arborist can evaluate trees for problems and provide services, such as pruning, fertilizing, and pest and disease treatments. 

Pruning trees

Dead branches aren’t just an indicator that the tree is unhealthy; they’re a safety risk. Clean up unsafe branches that were damaged by winter weather.

In general, never prune more than 25 percent of your tree's foliage at one time. Use sharp, clean tools to make small cuts. 

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