Spring has sprung: what you need to do in your garden

Spring has sprung: what you need to do in your garden

The warmth of the spring sun has awakened the earth and sleepy seedlings are starting to grow, spring flowers are blooming and buds on the trees are bursting out of their protective casings ready to welcome the new season. It’s the perfect time to get ready for the year ahead…

1. Look for tree damage

After the cold and wet winter, you need to check your trees for damage. This might include:

- Holes in the tree trunk
- Decay
- Soft or crumbling bark
- Dead twigs

The weather isn’t the only danger to your trees, you should also check for signs of disease or pest infestation which can wreak havoc on your garden. It’s vital that you inform a professional as soon as you notice any signs of infection, whether by pests or disease, so that the problem can be nipped in the bud. If you’re not sure what you need to look for, a professional arborist will be able to give you advice about which trees need to be treated or removed altogether.

2. Make way for new growth

Whilst checking your trees for damage, it’s a good idea to prune away the dead twigs and branches. It may just be your hedges that need a trim or they may require a more substantial pruning. Dead trees may need to be cleared away and stumps removed to prevent accidents so that new trees can be planted. It’s important that these tasks are done correctly to ensure healthy hedges and trees can continue to grow, so hire a professional who can get the job done effectively.

3. Fertilise and feed

As your trees and shrubs enter the growing season, it’s important to give them the right start. Using a slow release fertiliser will replace nutrients lost over the winter and also ensure that your trees and shrubs develop resistance to damage from diseases, insects and Mother Nature. In woodland, trees and plants gain nutrients from decaying organic materials such as dead leaves and broken twigs, but to maintain the beauty of our landscaped gardens, this debris is often removed leaving our trees and plants without their natural food source. In order to keep plants and trees healthy, these nutrients that have been removed need to be replaced with a good quality fertiliser.

4. Have a check-up

If you are concerned or worried about your plants or trees, it’s important that you contact someone who specialises in their care and maintenance. Ideally you should have a trained arborist inspect your garden at least once a year, and spring is the perfect time as it’s easier to spot potential problems. An arborist can identify hazards, notice things that your untrained eye will easily miss and then deal effectively with the issues you’re having or give you further advice about how to care for your garden.

The importance of formative pruning for your new hedge

Whether you’re wondering how best to tend to your brand new hedge or other forms of young trees, shrubs or plant life, you’ve probably heard of formative pruning. Formative pruning is a hedge trimming process that is integral to achieving optimal growth for your greenery.

If you want strong, unshaded branches that will grow to a good height and be able to provide sufficient support for potential fruit crops, formative pruning is essential. It is important to tend to both the framework and lateral branches as well as the trunk, to allow them all to develop healthily.

Unlike maintenance hedge cutting that only needs to be carried out once or twice a year, formative pruning needs to be carried out much more frequently – whether you carry out your pruning in winter or spring will largely depend on the type of hedge you’re dealing with.

For more information, LeafMatters are here for all of your needs in the field of plant care and tree surgery. Our services cover a variety of areas from the Midlands to the south of the country, or if you just need some professional advice and consultation, feel free to get in touch for more information.

Tree surgeon or arborist?

You’ve probably heard the terms “arborist” and “tree surgeon”, and like many of us, thought that they were pretty much the same thing. After all, they both come out to your home and look at your trees, right? A lot of people don’t know the difference, so it’s time to help clarify the situation.

The technical definition of an arborist is along these lines: an arborist has studied arboriculture, and knows about the establishment and care of trees. Basically, they’re tree experts, who have completed a programme of study, learning how trees grow, and how to encourage – or even discourage – certain behaviours of the tree, with careful cutting and maintenance of the trunk and its branches.

A tree surgeon, on the other hand, does not necessarily have the expert qualifications of an arborist. A tree surgeon will happily chop branches off your tree, but doesn’t know how it will affect the tree in the same way that an arborist would.

The problem is that since “arborist” isn’t a very well-known word, a lot of arborists market themselves as tree surgeons, and don’t do themselves justice. In short, if you want the very best care for your trees, whether that’s cutting them down to size or simply giving them a bit of TLC, you want an arborist. Leaf Matters are professional arborists, and proud of it!

Why hedges are a better alternative to fences

Hedges are commonly used to divide up property boundaries, and there are many great benefits to be enjoyed from using a hedge in this way, compared to having fences.

A hedge is much more aesthetically pleasing than any fence, especially if you choose a type that has berries that flower during the year. It will blend into the landscape much better, because it’s natural. Most importantly, a hedge is a haven for wildlife, so not only does it look more attractive than a fence, but you’ll be helping to sustain birds, insects and other garden critters.

Once a hedge is established, it only requires hedge trimming to keep it at the desired shape or height. Bear in mind, you’ll need to know when you can and can’t undertake hedge cutting – a reputable tree surgeon can advise you on this. Fences, on the other hand, require regular maintenance, which can become expensive. They’ll need to be painted to protect them and stop them rotting, and will need replacing over a period of time. During gales, fence panels are susceptible to getting blown down, whilst a hedge is thick and strong, and much more resistant to damage during harsh weather.

Based in Sevenoaks we can provide tree surgery services across Kent and these areas

We accept tree surgery enquiries from all these areas

Leaf Matters Professional Tree Surgery Ltd are tree surgeons in Sevenoaks offering tree felling, tree clearing, hedge maintenance, pruning and reducing. We are available for tree planting and advice on tree ecology as well as emergency tree work. Based in Sevenoaks we are happy to offer our tree surgery services all around the Sevenoaks area.

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