After winter, it’s important to help trees and shrubs recover from the stress of harsh weather and any injuries. This is particularly true since plants under stress are more susceptible to several insects and diseases. There are a number of things that can be done to help trees and shrubs be in their best shape for spring so that they are healthier overall and less susceptible to pest problems.
Don’t prune too soon
Avoid heavy pruning on limbs exhibiting brown foliage in late winter. Sometimes, these plants will push out new growth from limbs with winter injuries. Prune out dead twigs and branches after the plant has resumed growing in spring.
Get a soil analysis
A soil analysis will reveal important information about the nutrients and organic matter available to trees, which is helpful in planning specific fertilization and soil treatments.
Be sure to feed and water
Fertilization, mulching and irrigation help promote new growth on plants damaged during winter.
Remove salty snow
To reduce injury from deicing salts, remove salt-laden snow from around tree trunks before the spring thaw. Soil should be analyzed as soon as weather thaws for salt levels.
Monitor frost cracks
Cracks in stems and branches often close without any treatment. Watch frost cracks closely during the early spring to make sure they close.