Getting antsy to start fruit tree care for warmer months? For many in Utah, buds start to swell this time of year, particularly if you have plum, cherry or apple trees.
Pruning fruit trees and sowing seeds are two vital March activities. Immediately after noticing swollen buds, start pruning (or hire an expert to do it for you). Plum trees need special pruning to reveal an open center, but apple and cherry trees prefer a modified leader, where the center is closed off and the tree is upright.
Diseased, broken and dead branches should be removed, as well as crossed branches and any twig-like branches not conducive to growth. Soon, trees will be lush with leaves, and it will be tough to tell the quality branches from those desperately in need of pruning.
Pruning lets you get up close and personal with your trees, so take the opportunity to harvest a few healthy limbs with flower buds. You’ll especially want these gems from plum and crab apple trees. Prune two-foot limbs, making sure the flower buds are bigger than the leaf buds. These samples can be used to force blooming. Ideally, set them in water overnight in a large sink or bathtub.
If possible, let them soak until the flowers open. Sometimes this can take up to a week, so choose a sink, bathtub or bucket that isn’t regularly used. Once they blossom indoors, set them around high-traffic areas in the home for an incredible aromatic experience. In some parts of Utah, there might still be snow on the ground, but your home will smell of spring.
Hints of Summer
Pussy willows are common in many parts of Utah, and you’ll see them start to swell in March. If you love these bushy beauties, scavenge for them in wetland areas. Two-foot cuts, similar to your pruned trees, are ideal, but don’t take too many from one area. Put pussy willows in a bucket or sink of water in a cool room, and you’ll soon have some incredible centerpieces.
The big March project is tackling transplants. Hardy crops like broccoli and cabbage can be set outdoors in March, as can slow-growing flowers like petunias. However, wait another month to sow veggies like tomatoes and peppers. Your seed packets will tell you whether sowing indoors or outdoors is best.
Once the final snow melts, you can start mulching for better garden beds. Take this time to also tune up your lawnmowers and make sure your gardening shed is stocked. If you prefer to let professionals keep your yard looking pristine, set up maintenance checks and appointments.
Ensuring your trees survived the winter weather and aren’t damaged is important for a safe yard. Call Reliable Tree Care for more spring tips.