Clean Up: Remove and remaining holiday lights or protective wraps from the trees and branches to prevent girdling. Clean up debris beneath trees (fallen fruit, twigs, etc) if you know your tree can be prone to fungal infections
Mulch: Add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around trees, especially those under 10 years old. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, provides nutrients to the tree, and suppresses weeds. But take care: Create a donut of mulch around the tree by leaving a 2-3 inch gap away from the base of the trunk. Mulch piled up against the trunk can cause the bark to rot.
Water: Now that it’s warmed up, begin watering your trees for the summer. Young trees need about 5 gallons of water each week (or about 1 inch of rain) to remain healthy.
Prune: Although winter is the dieal time to prune, you can still remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches at this time. Not sure a branch is dead? Wait for the tree to leaf out fully and you’ll see which ones are ready to come down.
Inspect: Look for cracks, oozes, fungal growth, and missing bark on trunk. If you spot something that you’re uncertain of, contact a certified arborist.
Invasive vine clean up: Invasive vines like English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, and Japanese/Chinese wisteria cause significant harm to trees and our overall urban ecosystem. The rainy spring weather softens the ground, which makes this season an ideal time to start removing it. Watch our video about how to cut back ivy from trees, read more about how to pull ivy from the ground, and learn about native vines and groundcovers to replace the invasive ones.
Sources: Adapted from articles on bayeradvance.com and ncforestservice.gov