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Spring Tree Care Tips for Virginia

Updated: Jul 31, 2023


Tree Climber Clearing Power Lines in Strasbourg VA

March is the transition from winter into spring and it's a great time to get started on spring tree care.


Today we'll discuss some things you can do every spring to ensure your trees remain healthy, safe, and beautiful.


INSPECT

First, let's look at the basics. Take a look at the landscape and trees before you do anything. Are there broken branches or tree trunks? Are there signs of pest or insect damage (such as bark eaten by rodents at the base of trees?) Are shrubs bent from snow and ice loads?


Call us at 304-207-0115 if you notice anything that may indicate a health concern for your trees. We will provide a complimentary inspection as well as recommendations on how to deal with it.


CLEAN UP

Remove any burlap, tree wraps or other winter protection that you have placed around your trees or shrubs once the weather is warm.


Remove any fallen branches or twigs that may be under trees.


You should also rake the fallen leaves of disease-prone trees or shrubs like roses and dogwoods. This will help to prevent or minimize any further infection.


FERTILIZE

It is a great time of year to add nutrients to your landscape, including trees. Make sure the ground is completely thawed before you apply fertilizer. Runoff can cause water pollution and ultimately waste your money.


Northern Virginia usually fertilizes trees between March and April depending on the weather. Use organic fertilizers that are good for your trees, soil, and the environment if possible.


Trees are only as healthy and happy as the soil in which they grow. Before fertilizing, do a soil test to find out what nutrients your trees need.


TREATMENT FOR INECT PESTS & DISEASES

Spring is a time when many insects and diseases are active. Overwintering scale and insects can be controlled by early treatment, such as with dormant oils. Fungicides are used to control the spread of fungal diseases such as anthracnose or apple scab.

PRUNE

Spring is a great time to clean up trees and shrubs, especially if they were damaged by winter or have been injured by frost.


Before they begin to leaf out, prune ornamental and summer-flowering shrubs.


If you find dead or damaged branches, remove them immediately. After the branches have budged, you'll be able to identify dead branches more easily.


PLANT

Arbor Day is at the end of April and tree planting is a top priority for many. For tree ideas, visit your local nursery or garden center or give us a shout for our recommendations. It's easy to plant any one of the following best Spring-flowering Trees, or any of the best trees in Northern Virginia for Fall Color.

  • Flowering Cherries

  • Dogwoods

  • Magnolias

  • Redbuds

  • Red Maple

  • Scarlett Oak


WATER

If spring is dry, both newly-planted trees and shrubs as well as mature plants will require water. Wait until the ground thaws before you start watering. Water slowly and deeply. The goal is to get moisture to the root zone which is usually 12-18 inches deep. Spring is a time when new branches and leaves are being developed, so water is crucial.


Water the entire area if your trees are in proximity to areas that have been treated using de-icing salt.


Organic mulch is beneficial for trees as it helps to suppress weeds and retain water. It protects the trees from string trimmers and lawn mowers.


Add a few inches to mulch that is less than 2 inches thick. Make sure you "fluff it up" before adding more mulch. Mulch that is too dense from winter snow can cause water to block the roots of trees.


Do not create a "mulch volcano," It should be kept away from the trunk, and not piled higher than a few inches.



Tree men in woods with equipment and chainsaws


Hire a Professional Tree Service

If you're not confident inspecting or pruning your trees yourself, hiring a professional tree service might be the better option for you. They'll inspect your trees to ensure they're healthy and ready for springtime, as well as identify and address any issues before they become major issues.


In conclusion, getting your trees ready for spring is an integral part of maintaining a vibrant and healthy landscape. For all of your tree care needs this spring, contact Patriot Tree Service at 304-207-0115!

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