Spring and summer may seem to be far into the future, but the weeks between the holiday season and warmer temperatures will pass in the blink of an eye. With this in mind, once those holiday decorations are back in storage, it’ll be time to take a look at your trees, bushes and landscaping and decide what needs to be done in the coming year. Investing time planning ahead of time means you won’t be caught flat-footed when the warm weather weekends start in early April. Below are a few quick tips to help you get ready for spring – and beyond:
Make Your “To Do” List
Virtually any property, from a postage stamp-sized yard in an urban area to a 30-acre spread in the country, can have dozens of needs that should be addressed. A few of these may well include:
- Do you have any dead or dying trees that need to be removed? These trees not only detract from the beauty of your yard and home, they also can pose a threat to you, your family and your property.
- Are any of your trees in need of pruning? Sagging, cracked or diseased limbs should be examined and in most cases removed. In some cases, bracing or cabling can save or repair a limb.
- Do you have any unhealthy or dying bushes? Is your landscaping incomplete, overgrown or not thriving? Or does your landscaping need a complete makeover?
- Is your grass patchy, failing to thrive, or dying due to excessive sunlight, lack of irrigation or poor drainage leading to standing water after a rainfall?
- What overall “cleanup” work needs to be done? After even a mild winter, most yards have areas in which stray fallen leaves have accumulated. It’s not unusual to see branches – sometimes large – that have fallen off trees and into your yard, or on your roof.
- Are your gutters blocked with leaves? When the spring rains begin, you will want to have a clear flow through your gutters. And are your downspouts and drainage system channeling water away from your house and your foundation?
- What improvements can you make? Would you like to add a stand of evergreens, creating a natural “privacy fence” that will reduce noise and serve as a windbreak? Do you need new shrubbery along the front of your house or along your front walk? Would interesting trees such as a Japanese Maple or a Mimosa add to the looks or your patio?
- Fresh mulch is nearly always a good idea as it adds beauty to landscaping and helps soil retain water.
Once you have your “to do” list, it’s time to establish priorities. Without a doubt, safety comes first, so if you have any dead, dying or damaged trees that could pose any threat to anyone, getting those trees removed or repaired is a top priority.
This work is best left to experienced professionals. Working with chainsaws, pruning saws and other tools necessary for removing trees is dangerous. Falling trees can cause fatal injuries to people, and damage homes or vehicles. Finally, tree removal and powerlines are an extremely dangerous mix. Leave tree removal or pruning around powerlines to professionals.
Drainage including gutters, downspouts and drains should also be near the top of your list. Water sitting in gutters will decrease the efficiency of those gutters and may eventually damage roofing and soffits. Potentially even worse, water accumulating by your foundation can lead to hydrostatic pressure which can lead to your foundation cracking and failing.
After these items, it’s a matter of taste. Remember though, your trees, bushes, grass and landscaping are functional as well as ornamental. Anything you plant and maintain will – or should – have a practical as well as aesthetic benefit. For example, a row of juniper trees along the side of your property can increase privacy. Or putting a row of the same trees along the side of your house can provide shade, reduce the effects of wind and cut your utility bills.
Call In The Experts
Our certified arborists have decades of experience in working with trees and are experts in their care. They can also advise you on which trees and shrubs will best meet your needs and, just as important, your unique tastes. They can help you develop a plan and turn it into reality.