February tips for the landscape

The days are getting longer! Holidays are over, and now maybe there’s a little time to enjoy a nice walk around your yard to get a breath of fresh air and to observe your trees and shrubs. Without leaves, trees are a lot easier to assess. If you notice large trees with sections of the bark missing, you might be looking at damage by emerald ash borer.

Meanwhile, February is a great time for the following:

  • Continue to prune shrubs. It is still time to trim your holly trees and enjoy the branches indoors for color.

  • Prune wisteria

  • Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate overgrown deciduous hedges

  • Cut back deciduous grasses

  • Trim fruit trees to enhance fruit production. Trim back over- extended branches to reduce weight so that the limbs do not break under the weight of fruit

  • Check for rodent damage around the trunks of your trees and shrubs. Leaving a space between the layer of mulch and the tree’s trunk can help discourage mice and rabbits from making you tree or shrub a chewing toy.

  • Assess your landscape with a certificated arborist for your spring needs. This is especially important if you notice dead trees, trees with excessive lean, or trees that just don’t look right.

  • Keep your eyes open for the spring bulbs that are starting to emerge such as crocus, snowdrops and daffodils

  • Have a nice warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy browsing through the many seed, tree and shrub catalogs that are available.

You can also sign up for a class through the University of Maryland Extension to learn more about the plants that inhabit the landscape.

Nature Note for 2/12/2017