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Use Winter Thaws Wisely

This winter has been typical for a La Nina winter, according to the TV meteorologist I like to watch. He said that we would have our share of ups and downs – periods of cold and snow followed by periods of mild weather. If this weather pattern continues, it will, you can use the mild thaws to get outside and improve the look of your landscape.

I don’t mean to imply that you should go out and start major renovations or upgrades. However, there are routine maintenance tasks you can perform that will keep your yard looking nice and clean. Checking on your landscape from the outside will also afford you the opportunity to identify potential hazards early and have them taken care of before they injure people or damage property.

When you take these strolls around your property, inspect your overwintering plants, especially those you planted last fall. Be sure they’re still healthy, secure in the place you planted them and not under stress. If the weather is well above freezing and no cold spell is predicted for a few days, give your fall plants a good watering.

Frequent freezing and thawing causes frost cracks. These are vertical cracks in the bark of trees, especially smooth bark trees. Be sure to also check the base of trees and shrubs – both young and old – for rodent damage. While looking at trees, look up, too. Check for broken branches. We’ve had some high wind this winter, so there may be some branches that are broken and hanging.

If your trees and shrubs appear to have any problems, call us. Remember, our arborists work year round. You don’t have to wait until spring to have that broken branch removed or steps taken to discourage rodents.

As you walk around your property, pick up any leaves and trash that blew in. Not only will your property look nice for the rest of the winter, it will also reduce the chance of lawn diseases. Best of all, you won’t have as much clean up work in the spring.

Finally, use these opportunities to take note of where you need new plants or some need to be replaced. You can also sketch out the projects that you budgeted for after last week’s blog. Then you’ll be prepared to start these projects as soon as the lawn is firm enough to walk on. Speaking of firm lawns, be sure yours is dry enough to support you during your walks around the property. If it’s not firm enough, limit your walking to the perimeter.

This winter is certainly a gift, unless you’re a winter activity person. Make the most of it. While you are able to keep a closer eye on your landscaping, you’ll also get outside in the fresh air. And that sure beats sitting inside staring at your landscape out the window.

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