Established trees may seem self-sufficient, but arborists agree: Healthy trees don’t just happen. Trees are low-maintenance, not no-maintenance. Tending to seasonal chores helps keep trees healthy and protects your landscape investment.
Get your trees off to a growing start by following six simple steps for spring tree care.
1. Clean Up
Kick off the new growing season with a quick spring cleaning – for trees.
A layer of mulch helps soil retain moisture and suppresses weeds. It’s most crucial when caring for younger trees, ones that have been in the ground up to 10 years, but it’s OK to mulch older trees, too.
Wait until soil thaws to tackle watering chores. If you water while the soil is still frozen, you’ll just create runoff.
The ideal time to prune most trees is during winter dormancy. However, each type of tree has You can, however, remove any dead, damaged or broken branches in spring. If you’re unsure whether a branch is dead, wait until the tree leafs out. Dead branches are easy to spot once leaves unfurl.
Some trees have free-flowing sap that "bleeds" after late winter or early spring pruning. Though this bleeding causes little harm, it may still be a source of concern. To prevent bleeding, you could prune the following trees after their leaves are fully expanded in late spring or early summer. Never remove more than 1/4 of the live foliage. Examples include: All maples, including box elder, butternut and walnut, birch and its relatives, ironwood and blue beech.
Prune apple trees, including flowering crabapples, mountain ash, hawthorns and shrub cotoneasters in late winter (February-early April). Spring or summer pruning increases chances for infection and spread of the bacterial disease fire blight. Autumn or early winter pruning is more likely to result in drying and die-back at pruning sites.
As you can see, it is best to consult an arborist or tree specialist before pruning your trees to ensure the best result. They can help you set up a pruning schedule to match your landscaping needs.
Before leaves appear, inspect tree trunks and branches, looking for signs of disease or damage. Not sure what to look for? The following could be signs your trees should be checked out by an arborist.
University of Idaho Extension, Ada County
5880 Glenwood Street
Boise, ID 83714
HomeBoise Valley Tree Service professional arborists are available to help you will all of your tree needs from stump removal to tree maintenance. Request a quote now.