If you’re lucky enough to have trees in your backyard, you might be wondering, do I need to do anything to care for these plants? Just as you change your garden care from season to season, arborists recommend taking different steps to keep trees healthy throughout the year. Here are a few tips on how to maintain trees year-round.
As we’re heading into the fall season, let’s start there. Fall is the best time to prep your trees for the grueling winter ahead. Trim any branches that are compromised or could damage structures during blustery weather. If you live somewhere with dry falls, continue to conduct occasional watering of trees and if you live in a colder climate, be sure not to water before a potential frost.
In the depths of winter, most trees will actually need little care. In most regions, you can hold off watering, and if you do live somewhere very dry, water before midday to avoid nighttime freezes. As deciduous trees will be free of leaves, winter is a great time to be on the lookout for potentially infected or damaged limbs to remove. Bugs feed on newly-cut limb sites less in the winter than in the summer, so it’s also a good time to do any branch removal.
This season of growth is a good time for light pruning, but try to avoid whole limb cuts as spring is prime time for bugs to infest cut sites. If you have fruit trees, spring is a good time to fertilize and prune for optimal summer production. You probably don’t need to do a lot of watering in the spring unless you live in a particularly dry climate.
Most trees will need some supplemental water in the summer, but watch out for overwatering signs like pooling. Water in the evening or early morning to avoid evaporation. Don’t feed fruit trees in the summer as it can spur extra growth that is susceptible to winter weather.