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The Park People Shares Tips for Protecting Your Trees During Colorado's Spring Season

Hayley Kwasniewski
/ Categories: Climate Resiliency

As notoriously erratic Colorado Springtime rolls in, keep a close eye on your trees- and the forecast. Extended warm periods and longer days may have started to coax trees out of dormancy, leading to early bud break. Check your tree for signs of the buds plumping and leaves or blossoms appearing as these could be damaged if a sudden freeze hits. When a major temperature drop is predicted, use frost cloth, burlap, plastic sheeting, or a tarp to cover young trees. Set up stakes or supports around the tree to hold up the covering and keep it off the branches, remove accumulating snow often, and remove covering as soon as the weather warms.

With consistently warmer weather in mid-late April, remove tree wrap and any tape or twine. Tree wrap left on during the growing season can invite pests & disease and girdle the trunk, causing lasting damage or death. If your tree is staked, this is also a good time to readjust the straps to allow for new growth.

Tree Care Guide 

As always, here is our 4-season printable tree care guide to pin to your fridge or corkboard. For easy online reference, bookmark our Tree Care Page.

Protecting Young Trees During Spring Storms

During a storm, if you start to see branches bending under the weight of snow, go out and gently brush off or shake the branches to clear them. If you do end up with broken branches, prune them properly after the storm so the tree can seal the wound.

Visit The Park People's Tree Care Guide section on recommended pruning techniques to learn proper timing and best practice for pruning storm damaged trees.

Rainwater Collection | Saving Water = Benefiting Trees 

The next few months are when we get the majority of our annual precipitation. But we all know that changes quickly. With increasingly hot summers and outdoor water use restrictions going into effect during times of drought, you can be assured that you have a way to water your trees. Take advantage of spring rain & snowmelt by setting up a rain barrel! You will be saving water and money, while providing the moisture your trees need. Each household is allowed to collect 110 gallons of runoff (two 55 gallon drums) at a time. As you use the water, the barrels will passively refill with each rainfall.

Check out this resource How to harvest rainwater under new Colorado rules? for more information.

Tips to successfully collect rainwater: 

  • Research rain barrels to find the right style and size for your home. There are many different kinds available from local hardware stores, online or as inexpensive DIY upcycle options. 
  • Choose a downspout that is fed by a large section of your roof, and make sure gutters are clean.
  • Set up each barrel on a platform or concrete blocks for ease of access and to increase the water flowrate. 
  • If making a collection barrel from repurposed drums, make sure they are food safe, and do not contain chemical residue.

Free Mulch Giveaway!

Each year the city of Denver hosts a free mulch giveaway for residents. Bring your own shovel and containers/bags for loading and transporting mulch in your vehicle. Stay tuned to the weblink above for pickup times & locations!

Why Mulch? 

  • retains soil moisture,
  • creates a perimeter to avoid string trimmer and lawnmower damage, 
  • protects from extreme temperatures, and
  • promotes a healthy microbiome, benefiting the entire landscape! 

When applying Mulch to young trees, remember the 'Rule of 3's'Apply 3 inches deep, Keep 3 inches away from the trunk, Create a 3 foot diameter - Your trees will thank you!

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