Anyone who lives in the Piedmont Triad area (including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Kernersville, and surrounding areas) knows that spring is when the landscape turns a vivid green, trees burst into bloom, and bulbs emerge to brighten gardens with brilliant colors. But do you know what you should be doing each spring to care for your trees?
Get Your Trees Ready For Spring
March/April is the ideal time to help your trees recover from winter and make sure your trees are prepared for the warmer weather and summer thunderstorms ahead. Below are our recommended tree care tasks for spring to ensure that your trees will be strong, healthy and beautiful throughout the growing season.
Inspect trees for any damage or problems
- Inspect your trees for signs of winter damage from ice, snow, wind, and sleet. Many of these problems can be problematic and often pose a danger to people and nearby structures. Look out for:
- broken and/or hanging branches,
- cracks in the trunk or at branch crotches (where the branch attaches to the tree trunk)
- holes or rotted areas
- roots lifting out of the ground or the tree beginning to lean (this is often a problem when the soil is supersaturated from rain and melting snow)
- Check for signs of disease or insect pests, such as egg masses. It’s often easier to see these before leaves grow out.
- Keep an eye on your trees to make sure that they’re leafing out and/or blooming at roughly the same time as other trees of the same species. Trees that don’t emerge from winter dormancy as expected could have a serious underlying condition affecting their health and stability.
If you notice anything of concern, or if you’re not sure whether to be worried about what you see, please give us a call ASAP at 336-416-0550. Our Certified Arborists can examine your trees to see if they pose a safety hazard, and can recommend the best way to mitigate safety risks.
Prune Your Trees
- Prune dead, diseased or unsafe branches before spring growth takes off. Doing so will help avoid spreading pests and diseases that appear when the temperatures warm up.
- Cut off any unwanted branches (for example, branches that are blocking your view, getting in the way, or rubbing against your home).
- If you’re growing trees for their spring blooms, wait to prune them until after they’ve finished flowering, or you’ll end up with no spring flowers this year. However, trees grown for their fruit (such as apples or pears) should be pruned earlier – in late winter before buds form – to maximize fruit production.
- It can be difficult to tell which branches need to be pruned, and harder still to do it yourself. When in doubt, contact your local tree experts (that’s us!) for professional help. We’ll not only identify which branches need to go (and why), we’ll carry out the pruning job quickly, efficiently, and most important of all, safely.
Clean Up Your Yard
- Remove fallen leaves, branches and twigs, and other debris from your yard. Getting rid of material that can spread disease or harbor over-wintering pests will help set the stage for healthy growth.
- Keep outdoor furniture, play structures, and other items well away from trees to avoid damaging them.
- Weed your yard to remove unwanted and noxious plants that compete with trees and turf for water and valuable nutrients. Spring rains jump-start weed growth so while you may not have many weeds right now, they’ll soon start to grow like – well – weeds! They’re much easier to remove in spring when weeds are small and the ground is soft than it is to pull out established weeds in summer.
Feed Your Trees
- Fertilize your trees with the nutrients they need after winter. A slow-release, organic fertilizer helps trees defend against pests and diseases. While many trees grow well without supplemental feeding, fertilizer helps them achieve optimal growth and encourages better health.
- This is also a good opportunity to fertilize the other plants in your yard, such as turfgrass, perennials, and shrubs.
- Before applying fertilizer, you should know the pH level and how much of each type of nutrient is present in your soil – this will tell you how much, and what kind of fertilizer, to apply. Take a soil test every 2-3 years so you have the most accurate numbers. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Soil Testing Division will run a soil test at no charge if you send them a sample of your soil. Or you can pick up the necessary materials from the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Center at 1450 Fairchild Rd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105.
- This is another spring tree prep job where you can benefit a lot from calling tree professionals!
Plant New Trees
- Plant new trees this spring to maximize the property enhancing benefits of trees.
- Choose the best tree for your property. Here are our tips for how to choose the right tree, as well as our top suggestions for spring-flowering trees that grow well in our part of North Carolina. We also have a list of the best trees to plant in the Winston-Salem area.
- Add 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch around your trees to improve soil moisture and control weeds.
- If you already have mulch in place, check to make sure there’s enough. Winter weather can break down mulch so top it up if needed to add a little more protection.
- Be sure to keep mulch well away from the trunk or you’ll risk creating the perfect growing conditions for harmful pathogens that will rot the base of the tree!
Expert Spring Tree Care in Winston-Salem & Surrounding Areas
If you have questions about your trees, or need professional, experienced tree care for your Piedmont Triad area home, call Beaver Tree Service today.
It’s not always easy to diagnose the health of your trees if you don’t have extensive tree knowledge, especially as they’re just emerging from dormancy in spring. While some problems may be obvious, there may be more serious underlying issues that are difficult for the layman to catch.
If you want a professional diagnosis of your yard’s general health, don’t be afraid to call us for a professional consultation! We can inspect your yard, point out any problems your trees may have, and recommend a comprehensive roadmap of how to treat these issues.
Want to know more? Check out our other seasonal tree care tips: