Original Article located here: http://blog.davey.com/2013/04/spring-ahead/?_ga=1.214107088.610136453.1486129255

With spring quickly approaching, its time to start thinking outside and getting your trees and yard prepared for the coming months.  Here is your spring resource guide to a healthy and vibrant season with your trees and landscape. 

Jump-start your spring with a thorough tree inspection by following the steps below:

Branch Out – Look for consistent leafing and flowering activity on the branches of your trees during spring. Does one area look sparse? Observe how leaf tissue is emerging, Houston advises.tree_disease_crab_apple_leaf

Wet Watch – Look out for yellowing leaves on shrubs that could be a sign of excess water from winter storms, Houston warns. This yellow coloring can indicate poor soil drainage and too much moisture. “The shrub is telling you it is not doing as wellcompared to others that are healthy, vibrant green,” he says.

Clear The Way – Dead wood is dangerous, and it’s often the byproduct of winter weather. Be sure to clean up dead branches, which are a safety risk. And, while your at it, have a professionally trained arborist check the structural integrity of the tree. Spring showers drench  leaves and weigh down branches. You don’t want any surprises. 

Deal With Decay – Fungi can weaken wood tissue, resulting in  cracks, seams and other “internal” wounds. While healthy trees bend aloimages ng with the wind, decayed wood cracks and breaks. So keep an eye out for wounds and cankers-perennial tree diseases that can be quite aggressive and increase risk, writes Larry Tankersley, an extension associate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “Wounds and cankers can be weak points on a trunk, and a tree is more likely to break at a wound or canker if it is facing the opposite to the direction of the prevailing wind. Vertical cracks or seams along the trunk suggest internal defects.”

Crown Check – When a tree is stressed, branches in the upper crown often die from the top down, Tankersley says. Stress can be caused by insects or diseases, drought, soil compaction or root disease.

images-1Look Down – Those roots are a key indicator of a tree’s health. Look for these above-ground clues that something’s not going so well “down under” with your trees: thin crowns; dwarfed, off-color leaves; stunted growth; discolored, loose or resin-soaked wood at the root collar; and fungi growing near the base of the tree.

Always contact a professionally trained arborist from Tree Tech Tree Services, 704-799-5796, TreeTechNC.com, with questions and concerns about your trees. To watch a live spring tree inspection, check out a Davey professional in action at www.davey.com/spring.