A new year means a new you. But what about other parts of your life? Even though it’s winter, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your yard and make some important tree care resolutions. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
1. Take better care of your tools
So often we start the year off right, carefully putting yard care tools away. And then at some point in the year, it becomes a bit tiring and they’re left haphazardly all over the place. Start the year right by organizing your tools.
Select a designated space for all your tree care tools. Make sure it is somewhere accessible and most importantly dry and not exposed to the elements.
Inspect your tools. Clean off any rust and take items like pruning sheers in to be sharpened. Designate a day every month to inspect your tools and tidy them up if need be. Once this becomes a habit, it will be easier to take care of all your tools, which means they will last for much longer.
2. Make a schedule for the entire year
So often we live in one season and become a bit surprised when it changes to the next one. We can be comfortable in our homes, allowing the snow to fall, and then when spring hits we’re suddenly unprepared for the tree care tasks that are upcoming.
Take some time to think about the entire year and make a list of what needs to be done for each season.
Some examples include:
- SPRING – inspect for winter damage, plant new trees, fertilize
- SUMMER – mulch, create a watering schedule
- FALL – trim branches, add winter mulch
- WINTER – prune trees, wrap specific trees against cold
When creating a tree care schedule, think about external factors such as your own vacation time and how often you are able to get out in your yard to work on it. Also take into consideration the unique climate of where you live as this will determine what needs to happen when.
3. Create a tree care budget
Proper tree care takes money. However, with proper planning, you can end up spending a lot less. Start by thinking about big projects you want to take on in your yard. This could be a big landscaping project, taking down the old tree house, planting new trees, or removing trees.
It’s important to think about projects you can envision for the next five years. If you have kids that are growing up, they might want to play in the tree house for another year, but that could change real soon. Likewise, you may have trees that are providing a nice mix of shade at the moment, but in just a few years they can become too bushy or too tall, creating more shade than you wish.
Once you have a five-year plan, start assigning costs to each project. Ask neighbors, check the internet, or call a tree care company to get rough estimates.
After the bigger items are listed, start thinking about yearly costs. These include annual tree trimming, planting seeds, buying fertilizer, new trees and plants, and any new tools.
Finally, set aside money in your budget for emergencies such as winter storms and broken branches. When all the numbers have been crunched, you will have a good idea of how much to save each year so you can stick to your five-year budget and have the yard you’ve always dreamed of.
4. Only hire professionals
We’ve all been there before. You need a tree trimmed but don’t want to pay for a professional. So, you hire a cheaper alternative with unsurprisingly disastrous results. Then, you need to end up paying again to have a professional fix the mistake.
Tree care professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. They know how to do things the right way and they stand by their results. It can be tempting to cut corners but you will regret it in the end.
This is why making a tree care budget is so important. If you know how much you will need to spend each year on your trees and the rest of your yard, then it won’t be a surprise when it comes time hiring a tree care professional.
5. Learn more about the trees on your property
Our last recommendation for tree care resolutions is kind of a fun one. Take the time to learn more about the trees on your property. Most people move into a house that already has tree growing around them. And too often, we have no idea what they actually are.
There are many ways to figure out what types of trees you have. You can take pictures or even clippings of the branches and head to your local gardening store. You can also download apps that will identify the trees for you.
Once you know what kind of trees you have, you can take much better care of them. You might find that you have a tree that is drought-tolerant, and therefore don’t have to worry about always watering it. Or, you might find that a tree needs even more water than you’re already giving it.
Knowing the types of trees you own means you will also know what their future will hold. Perhaps you have a tree that looks kind of young. However, you may find that it grows to be way bigger than imagined, and at a very quick pace. In this case, you can really plan for the future and move it to a more suitable location.
Knowing more about your trees is always a good thing, so make this an activity for the whole family. The world of trees is pretty fun once you start getting to know it.