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When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, many homeowners begin to think about yard care. However, the problem is that most homeowners tend to focus only on spring lawn care, rather than taking a holistic approach to prepare their entire landscape for the growing season. As a result, they often neglect their trees and fail to ensure they are healthy and robust for the year ahead.

Spring is the perfect time to address tree care, as the canopies have not fully leafed out yet, providing a clear view of each tree’s structure. This makes it easier to identify any issues such as winter storm damage or pests. To help homeowners determine which tree care tasks they should prioritize in the spring, we have created a short checklist for spring landscaping that focuses specifically on tree care.

Your Quick Spring Checklist for Tree Care

There are several ways in which winter storms can damage trees. Fluctuations in temperature can cause roots and branches to crack, while ice buildup can crack and damage branches, leading to breakage and loss. Additionally, ice can make branches brittle and even split the trunks of trees at branch junctions.

Make Sure Your Mature Trees are Healthy

Winter storm damage and pests on mature trees are easier to spot in the springtime, before the tree has completely leafed out. You can use this time to:

  • Check for broken, split, or dangling branches.
  • Look for fungal growth on branches and missing bark.
  • Inspect tree roots and surrounding soil for fungal growth or mushrooms.
  • Check for raised soil on one side of a tree, which can indicate weakness or leaning.
  • Look for cavities near large, raised roots that can attract moisture and lead to rot.
  • Pay attention to uneven leaf coloring or slow growth, which may indicate a need for fertilizer or insect damage.
  • Examine trunks for oozing, cracking, mushrooms, and pest infestations.


Make a note of your findings and discuss them with a certified arborist to ensure your trees are healthy and ready for a year of growth.

Clean the Area Around Your Trees

Spring is the perfect time to clear out debris and detritus that may have accumulated over the winter months. Remove fallen branches, leaves, fallen fruit, and old mulch that can collect moisture near the trunk.


Now that you have cleared the area around your tree, add slow release fertilizer. Doing this before the height of the growing season will help replace nutrients lost during the winter months and help plants become more resistant to pests, disease, and adverse environmental conditions. You can broadcast fertilizer all the way to the drip line if using a granular type, or place fertilizer spikes accordingly. If you want to give your trees a liquid deep root feeding, consult with a certified arborist.

Add Mulch

Once the area around your tree is cleared, add fresh mulch to the area to block the growth of weeds and help the soil stay moist. You should aim for two to four inches of mulch product in the area all the way to the drip line of the tree, staying away from the trunk. Ideally, you should begin mulch application just outside the root flare.

Think About Water

You have cleared, mulched, and fertilized; now it’s time to water. Give your trees a good soaking at least once a week. The soil should be moist, four to six inches below the surface. If you do not have an irrigation system in place, consider installing one before the summer heat arrives.

Plant New Trees

Spring is also a perfect time to add new trees to your landscape. For the best results, consult with a certified arborist to determine which trees will be best suited to your environment, needs, and landscaping goals. For worry-free planting, and a better return on your investment, have a tree care service like Townsend plant the trees for you.

Townsend Arborcare Can Make Spring Tree Chores a Breeze

At Townsend Arborcare, we have a team of landscaping experts, including certified arborists, who can make completing all the items on your spring landscaping tree care checklist effortless. We can assess your post-winter landscaping for damage, disease, and pests; help you get a jump on robust spring growth with proper fertilizing and pruning; and assist in choosing and placing new trees in your landscape for a beautiful and healthy outdoor living environment.

Make spring tree care fast, easy, and effective. Contact a Townsend Arborcare consultant and learn how our certified arborists can help your landscape thrive

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