As the beautiful spring weather arrives it is time to take care of your trees so that they will remain hearty and healthy the rest of the year. The variable temperatures of spring in the greater Toronto area makes it impossible for experts to give you an exact date, but the best time to begin is when the ground is just starting to thaw.
When you notice the ground begin to thaw, then you need to use a rake to remove the mulch that you placed around your trees last winter. Removing the mulch helps the ground absorb the sun’s heat during the day allowing it to reflect the heat back at night encouraging growth.
The one exception is around tender fruit trees like apples, cherry, and plum trees. if the weather gets warm very early with another freeze likely to follow, then leaving the mulch around these trees helps ensure that they do not bloom to early when a frost would kill the blooms. Even then, you will want to make sure that the mulch is not touching the tree’s trunk.
The early spring days are the perfect time to divide and transplant summer perennials like Golden Corydalis, Cheddar Pink and Fern-leaved Bleedingheart. Fertilize these plants as soon as you notice new growth with slow-release organic fertilizers or granular fertilizers. If you are choosing to transplant, use a product containing mycorrhizal fungi as it will reduce transplant shock and encourage new growth.
Move Shrubs or Trees
The best time to move shrubs or trees is in the spring just before they begin to bud. If you have not pruned the roots, then water the plant the day before you plan to transplant the shrub or tree. If necessary, tie a string around the lower branches to protect them and keep them out of your way. The next step is to mark out 30.5 centimeters for every centimeter of the tree’s diameter. Use a flat spade, turned to face you, to cut through the earth to a depth of 61 centimeters where you have marked. If you encounter roots that you cannot get through with the spade, then use loppers. Lift the entire area out of the ground without digging under the tree itself. Due to the extreme weight of the area, you may want to hire a professional.
Prune Your Plants
The next project on your list should be pruning any trees before their buds begin to open. Additionally, walk around your yard removing any dead blooms from plants that have not fallen off during the winter. Now, is also the time to inspect your lawn and fertilize as necessary. Also, make sure to inspect your hardscape making necessary repairs.
Create Great Drainage
Finally, it is time to make sure that you have great drainage to last you throughout the summer as your plants need the right amount of water to thrive. If you have poor drainage, then consider installing a French drain or planting in raised beds.