Trees in your Yard
Timing is critical, and you should avoid pruning in the spring when your tree is budding and developing leaves, as this can stress your tree. Typically, the best times to prune are in the winter months when trees are fully dormant or in the midsummer months when trees are in full leaf. Pay attention to what type of tree you're pruning, though, as birch and maple should be pruned in July and August, when they are in full leaf. Check out our Trimming private trees next to City sidewalks and intersections Information sheet (pdf) for information on pruning requirements for trees bordering City property.
Newly planted trees should be watered from early spring until the leaves drop in the fall. Weekly watering is typically adequate, but remember not to over-water, as tree roots need breathing time. Older, well-established trees should be watered in the outer half of the area under the canopy; water deeply rather than frequently to fully benefit the roots.
Monitor for insects and diseases
Get to know your tree species so that you can learn what diseases or insects may impact it – this will go a long way to preventing major problems. Some of the most problematic diseases are Black Knot and Dutch Elm Disease, while common insects include the Yellow-headed spruce sawfly and larch sawfly.
Remember the roots
When you undertake any renovation or construction project in your yard, don't forget about the impact you may have on your tree's roots. The installation or removal of sidewalks, pavers, patios or foundations can interfere with tree roots, so keep your trees in mind and remove roots only when necessary.
Treat your trees with care
Whether you're doing yard maintenance or a major construction project, remember to be kind to your trees. Accidental lawnmower, weed eater or shovel wounds can damage your tree's health and lead to disease. Check out the Have you beaten your tree lately brochure (pdf) to learn how to prevent tree injuries when you maintain your yard. For more information on preventing damage during construction, review the Tree Protection Fence (pdf) information.
For more information, please call the Parks Section at 403-342-8234.