Time to look at your trees

Farm Forum

With the unusual early March temperatures, it is time to start working on your trees. Normally March and early April are excellent times to trim trees. But with these very early warm temperatures, procrastinating about trimming trees would not be a good idea. For the tree’s sake, trimming should be completed before the buds begin to swell and break. Trimming younger shade trees is especially important as you want to develop good structure including maintaining a single central leader. Look for branches that are rubbing on each other or branches that have very close points of attachment on the trunk and thin one or the other. Slowly removing lower branches over the first 10 years of the trees life is important as the tree is able to recover better when small diameter branches are removed versus waiting until the branch and tree are larger. There are lots of good, reputable websites that show how to properly prune branches without injuring the tree. I also have brochures and information available upon request.

Spring is also a great time to think about tree planting. Soon, the local nurseries will have lots of trees and plants for sale. When making decisions about what tree to plant, make sure you are diversifying by planting something that doesn’t already exist in your yard or your neighbor’s yard. When planting your tree, a common mistake is to plant it too deep. Make sure the top most root is right beneath the soil surface. Apply a light layer of woodchips around the tree to help hold moisture and keep grass and weeds from encroaching around the trunk of the tree. We have free woodchips at our Parks, Recreation and Forestry shop. These chips are available to anyone and you can have as many as you want. Load times right now are 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.