It is easy to forget that your trees are in need of regular maintenance, as they don't seem to change that much from year to year. However, there are several tasks that you should complete throughout the year to ensure your trees stay happy and healthy. Not only will they look better, but it will also the reduce the risk that the a large branch (or the entire tree) will come down during a large storm.
Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, and this concept can be applied to your trees too. If you are planning on adding any trees to your yard, this is the time to do it. This will give them the maximum amount of time to establish themselves before they have to survive the harshness of winter.
While the major pruning should happen late in the fall, you should still take the time to inspect your trees, looking for signs of disease or any dead branches. Trimming away the dead wood and addressing any illness will assist in keeping your trees healthy throughout the growing season and ensure they can store enough food away for the winter. It is also good practice to clear away any leaves or branches that may have been hidden under the snow and add a layer of mulch around the base of each tree.
Summer is all about maintaining what you have. Continue to trim away dead branches before they fall. In addition, you want to try and avoid having large branches come down during the violence of summer storms. This means not only taking off dead wood, but also bracing or removing branches that are no longer stable.
If you've been pruning every year, this shouldn't be a common occurrence, but if the trees have been neglected for awhile, you may have some serious work to do. Look for any signs of the wood cracking. The tree will try to heal this, so look for scarring and regrowth around the branches as well as visible cracks. If its been a long time since anyone did any real maintenance on your trees, you might want to have a pro walk the year with you. They can use their experience to spot branches that are going to be a problem in the future that you may have missed. While this isn't the season for major pruning, you can at least add some bracing to the problem areas so they don't come down before you have a chance to remove them safely.
Fall is when the work really happens. If summers in your area are especially hot, you may want to do some planting now instead of in the spring. This will still give the new tree some time to get established, but it won't have to contend with a dry, hot summer first. Do some research on the variety of tree you are trying to plant or ask someone at the nursery. Some trees do the majority of their growing in the fall, and they will be much happier if you plant them during this cooler weather.
Late in the fall, once the trees have dropped their leaves, is when you want to do any major pruning. The tree is mostly dormant during this time, so pruning it now will minimize its stress. Just like any other season, dead or dying branches definitely have to go right away.
Taking proper care of your trees is not that difficult. If you just can't find the time, you can always sign a maintenance contract with a local tree service. That way, all this work will get done and you don't have to worry about giving up time on your weekends to do it.Share