Now is the time to inspect and care for trees and shrubs!
Inspect your trees and shrubs for winter damage. Even thought it was a mild winter there are still plenty of issues that can surface as spring pushes new growth out on trees and shrubs
Bark splitting can occur in a variety of trees, Beech, Oaks, Willows, Crab Apples, and Japanese Maples to name a few. Although the split may appear threatening, most of the time nature just needs to run its course and the tree will heal itself over time. Don’t paint or put anything over the top of the wound. Many people think this will help protect the tree, but in fact it can slow the healing process and even encourage tree rot.
Inspect for disease or signs of pest damage. The quicker you discover a problem, the better the chance the tree or shrub will have of surviving. If you notice something not quite right with your plant call us. We have a trained, certified arborist on staff that can help determine the source of the problem and also what course of action is needed to help revive the plant. If your trees or shrubs are slow to leaf out be patient this time of year. Plants such as Buddleia, Vitex, Hardy Hibiscus, and even Hydrangeas among others are often slow to leaf out even under the most ideal conditions. If you are concerned that a tree may not be generating new growth scrape the bark with a fingernail. There should be some green coloring.
Re-mulch around trees and shrubs. Sometimes there is enough mulch left over from previous years to rough up with a rake and still get a layer of a good couple inches of mulch. It definitely needs to be raked up a little to keep the mulch from hardening together and creating a barrier and preventing water from getting to the roots of the tree. If there are bare spots be sure to add a couple inches of new mulch. That gives the water something to slowly soak through on its way to the roots of the plant rather than washing it off all together. Caution! Don’t allow the mulch to touch the trunk of the plant. Keep it about 4 inches away from the bark of the plants. Create a sort of doughnut around the truck. You don’t want a pyramid washing water away from the trunk, and mulches have an acidic property that can harm the tree with direct contact over time. Trees especially compete this time of year for water with the sod and plants surrounding it so by having a mulch ring gives the tree a leg up on finding the water it needs.
Timing is everything for annuals and vegetables!
The temperature outside may seem beautiful, but the ground temperature may not be warm enough for things like impatiens, begonias, peppers, and tomatoes. The soil temperature should be 60 degrees, otherwise you risk stunting the growth of certain warm weather plants. Hint – use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the soil. You may be too early yet.