Hands Digging Up Mulch
Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Spring Cleaning

Now that it looks like we’re FINALLY done with winter, let’s celebrate and get those yards ready for spring! Some things to keep in mind while you work to transform your yard:

Clean the mess. Start picking up after Old Man Winter. Roll up your sleeves and start removing litter, dead grass, leaves, pinecones, and other detritus on lawns. If possible, compost your organic yard waste material as it makes a great cover for the next year.

Prune trees and shrubs. Now is the time to trim fruit trees if you didn’t prune in winter. We have plenty of pruning tips here – and remember if you’re unsure reach out to a certified arborist!

Enjoy the spring show. If you planted flowering trees or bulbs last year, remember to stop and admire them. They only put on a show once a year. There are so many wonderful trees that start to bloom early in the season – many of them are available at no cost to District residents through our residential tree planting programs!

Prep for the summer. Now is the perfect time to plant some new trees so they can establish properly and grow into fully beneficial mature shade trees. Want a tree soon and feeling up to tackling the task yourself? Our Tree Rebate is for you. Buy and plant one of the many acceptable trees, submit a form (online or in the mail!) and we’ll send you money back. Easy as pie. Want more guidance and/or don’t want to plant a tree yourself? Our RiverSmart Homes program has you covered – one of our arborists consults with you on the best tree for your yard and then we plant it. For free!

Apply mulch. Mulch seems like an aesthetic afterthought, but it is a crucial part of tree care and an issue of surprisingly growing concern for all tree care-takers. Plus, if you mulch now, you’ll have next-to-no weeding come summer. There are many different kinds of mulch and always implement our 3-3-3 rule to prevent the dreaded, tree-killing mulch volcano. Always remember: 3 inches of mulch in a 3-foot ring with a 3-inch space around the tree trunk.

Treat yourself. Along with all the benefits provided with loved-green space, join us in celebration on Arbor Day! We will toast (with an open bar) to all that we have accomplished together!

Spring cleaning outdoors can be tackled in a much more joyous state of mind if you dangle a carrot in front of your nose the whole time. By “carrot” we are talking here about the reward with which tidying up outside culminates: planting, transplanting, and enjoying. Taking care of trees brings so many benefits: the satisfaction of a tidy space, the visual beauty of a large flowering tree that you helped grow, peace of mind that you’re bettering your community, and helping our city be its very best.

Now get out there and rock those residential plantings!

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