With winter coming to an end here in the Edmonton area, it’s finally time to welcome the long-awaited spring season. Spring is that time of the year when plants and trees start to blossom again after going through a long period of hibernation. It’s also the best time to begin planning maintenance of your trees and plants so that they can experience healthy growth throughout spring and summertime.
Being professional plant healthcare service providers, Neighbours Tree Company is passionate about tree care and would like to convey some practical ways you can take care of your trees during spring.
First of all, hire expert tree arborists who can check your trees for potential risks. This process may include both visual as well as instrument-based examination of the trees to look for possible signs of decay. After identifying specific hazards, the tree surgeons may take adequate actions like pruning branches to reduce weight, removing any unsafe limbs, or installing braces & cables to give structural support to the tree.
In general, seeking the advice of expert arborists will determine whether the trees can be salvaged or should be removed altogether.
The cleaning process involves removing dead, diseased, low-vigour, and weakly-attached tree branches from its crown. After inspection of the tree, it would be advisable to conduct a quick raking session to clean-up all the fallen leaves, fruits, twigs, branches, and other debris beneath the trees and around the base. Fungal disease and insect pests can grow in this debris. Prompt and thorough clean-up is key breaking the cycle of common tree pests such as Apple magots.
Apart from inspecting your trees and cleaning the base, get yourself familiar with some of the pests and diseases that can wreak havoc on your garden. Get in touch with a reliable tree service company to understand some of the potential pests that can negatively affect your tree health, and what you can do to treat or prevent these pests. Arborists understand that basic tree care practices such as pruning, mulching and watering are often the best solution to tree pests because they promote tree health and remove infectious material. A healthy tree can resist many pests. Although small numbers of pests may always be present, dangerous pest outbreaks usually only occur when weather conditions favor the pest and tree vigour is already compromised.
Many beneficial insects prey on pests, so pesticide application is always a last resort because it can kill the beneficial insects as well as the pest. If pesticides are warranted, the least toxic, most narrow spectrum pesticide should be chosen. Timing of pesticide applications is critical because many insects are only vulnerable to a specific treatment during a particular phase of their lifecycle. Also, some pesticides can interfere with the biological processes of trees and should be avoided at certain times.
Professional Arborists will not recommend routine spraying of broad spectrum pesticides, as this can have many negative impacts which ultimately undermine the health of the plants. This practice only benefits the profit margin of the companies who sell the service. The International Society of Arboriculture publishes many Best Management Practices including some which guide the application of pesticides. It is a good idea to check with an ISA Certified Arborist who is familiar with these protocols before paying to have your trees treated.
Although an ideal time of the year for tree pruning is during winter when it’s dormant, you can also get rid of dead, broken, or damaged tree branches during spring. However, improper pruning can also lead to either lasting tree damage or shortening tree life, which is why it’s vital to avail reliable tree pruning services for developing the young trees with desirable forms and strong structures. Mature trees can also be pruned to have dead, damaged or diseased branches removed during the spring. Heavy pruning of live tree branches after bud break until early summer should be reserved for trees with extremely high vigour and must be avoided for trees with low vigour or underlying health challenges. Trees have their lowest energy reserves immediately after bud-break and should be treated more gently until early summer when they have had a chance to recover.
Using mulch is an excellent way to retain soil moisture and safeguard young trees from extreme weather conditions. It also helps in countering the growth of unwanted weeds in gardens. It’s worth mentioning here that mulch should be placed around the bottom of the trees in a layer 2-6 inches deep and should not be placed right up to the trunks. Applying mulch too deeply or against the trunk directly might result in fungal growth, which can severely damage your trees.
Fertilizer applications can boost tree growth and prevent health problems which result if there is a nutrient deficiency. However, overapplication can also hinder the tree’s immune system and boost pest growth.
Some signs of nutrient deficiency include:
- small , stunted leaves
- Pale green or yellowish leaves (chlorosis)
- Scorching of the leave margins
Healthy trees, with normal sized leaves, normal growth, and normal leaf colour probably do not require any fertilizer.
Fertilizer can be applied to increase slow growth or treat known nutrient deficiencies. Arborists usually recommend conducting a soil test before applying fertilizer.
Regular maintenance during spring, aimed at promoting structural integrity and tree health, helps in ensuring the tree value will keep on growing and also avoiding costly tree problems in the future. Implement and follow an effective tree maintenance plan during springtime so that you may be able to identify significant tree issues and correct them at the earliest.