tree and shrub care in portland maine

Seasonal Tree Care: A How To Year-Round Tree Care Guide

Taking care of your trees is a year-round commitment that requires attention to their specific needs in every season. From nurturing new growth in spring to providing shade in summer, addressing potential issues in fall, and preparing for winter’s challenges, understanding seasonal tree care is crucial. 

This comprehensive guide offers practical insights to help you navigate each stage, ensuring your trees thrive throughout the year. Learn the essential tasks, common pitfalls, and expert tips that will empower you to foster healthy, vibrant trees in your outdoor space, promoting both beauty and longevity.

Importance of Seasonal Tree Care

Seasonal tree care is crucial for maintaining tree health and longevity. Regular pruning in the dormant season promotes strong growth and minimizes stress. Inspecting for pests and diseases during specific seasons allows timely intervention. Adequate watering and mulching in dry months ensure hydration. Fall is ideal for fertilizing, supporting nutrient absorption. By tailoring care to each season, trees thrive and contribute to a vibrant ecosystem.

Seasonal Tree Care Guide

Proper care of trees throughout the year is essential to ensure their health, longevity, and overall well-being. Different seasons bring distinct challenges and opportunities for tree maintenance. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you care for your trees throughout the seasons.

Winter Tree Care (December-February):

  • Spray Anti-Desiccants on Evergreens – Shield your evergreens from winter’s harsh winds by applying anti-desiccants. These sprays act as protective barriers, minimizing moisture loss through the leaves and preventing the browning of needles.
  • Prune While Dormant – Optimize your tree’s health by scheduling pruning during its dormant phase in winter. This practice aids in better healing, reduces vulnerability to pests, and stimulates vigorous flower growth come spring.
  • Wrap Young & Newly Planted Trees – Protect the tender bark of young or newly planted trees from winter sun-scald. By wrapping them, you create a shield that prevents drying and cracking, common issues in colder months.
  • Prevent Deer Damage – Invest in a comprehensive deer protection program to shield your trees and shrubs from browsing, feeding, and rutting. Beyond protecting your greenery, this program contributes to overall safety and property preservation.

Spring Tree Care:

  • Fertilize to Stimulate Root Growth – Cultivate strong tree growth by applying fertilizer in spring. This not only introduces vital nutrients but also stimulates vigorous root development, ensuring a strong foundation for the upcoming growing season.
  • Spray to Prevent Fungal Diseases – Safeguard your trees from common spring threats like Anthracnose, Root Rot, and Leaf Spot by implementing preventive sprays. These act as a proactive defense against the cool and moist conditions conducive to fungal infections.
  • Invest in a Year-long Plant Health Care Plan – Commit to year-round tree health by enrolling in a comprehensive plant health care plan. This strategic investment ensures consistent protection against emerging pests and diseases throughout the seasons.
  • Mulch (2-3 Inches Deep, Not Touching the Base) – Implement a 2-3 inch deep layer of mulch around your trees. This practice retains soil moisture, promotes organic matter development, and prevents soil compaction, fostering an environment conducive to healthy tree growth.

Summer Tree Care (June-August):

  • Inject the Trunks of Elm & Ash Trees – Safeguard your Elm and Ash trees from devastating diseases like Dutch Elm and Emerald Ash Borer by administering preventive trunk injections during early summer. This targeted approach ensures your trees remain resilient.
  • Prune Dead, Dying, & Diseased Branches – Enhance safety during summer storms by proactively pruning dead, dying, and diseased branches. This preventative measure minimizes the risk of limb breakage and potential harm to property and individuals.
  • Re-apply Mulch if Needed – Counteract the effects of heavy summer rains and foot traffic by ensuring your mulch remains at a sufficient 2-3 inch thickness. Adequate mulching preserves its insulating and moisture-retaining properties.
  • Water to Keep Plants Hydrated – Mitigate the impact of summer heat by consistently watering your trees. Employ a slow dribble method within the Critical Root Zone for 2-3 hours, repeating twice, to ensure optimal hydration and health.

Fall Tree Care (September-November):

  • Fertilize to Prepare Tree’s Roots – Safeguard your trees against winter stress by fertilizing in the fall. This timely application provides essential nutrients, fortifying the roots and overall health of your trees.
  • Rake to Remove Fallen Tree Leaves – Mitigate the risk of disease by diligently raking and removing fallen leaves in which disease-causing fungi may hide and overwinter. This simple act contributes significantly to your tree’s long-term health.
  • Plant New Trees During Fall – Capitalize on the favorable fall temperatures to plant new trees. With reduced chances of sun scorch or drought, this season provides an ideal environment for new trees to establish themselves.
  • Mulch 2-3 Inches Deep Around Trees – Insulate your tree’s root system from the approaching cold of late fall and winter by applying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch. This protective measure also helps the soil retain moisture and organic matter for sustained health.

FAQs about Seasonal Tree Care in Portland, ME

seasonal tree care guide by audet enterprises

Image by Minerva Studio on Canva

What trees grow best in Maine?  

Ideal trees for Maine’s cooler northern regions include the fast-growing Hybrid Poplar, disease-resistant Chinese Chestnut, low-maintenance Sourwood Tree, and easy-to-grow Sawtooth Oak. These hard choices thrive in Maine’s climate, offering beauty and resilience.

When can you plant trees in Maine?  

Plant trees in Maine after the ground thaws and dries out in spring, typically before plants begin leafing out. This optimal planting window ensures successful establishment. Aim for the period between late April and early June for most trees and shrubs, taking advantage of favorable conditions to promote healthy growth and root development.

What is the most common tree in Maine? 

The most common tree in Maine is the Balsam Fir. Widely utilized in paper making and lumber, this softwood species is integral to the state’s forestry industry. Recognizable by its distinctive bark, the Balsam Fir is a prominent and economically significant tree that contributes to Maine’s rich natural resources.

How do I protect my trees from common summer pests?

To protect your trees from common summer pests, consider regular inspections for signs of infestation. Additionally, investing in pest-resistant tree varieties, implementing preventive sprays, and practicing good garden hygiene can help minimize the risk of pest-related damage.


Caring for your trees throughout the seasons with proper seasonal tree care is vital for their well-being. From winter protection to summer hydration, each season demands specific attention. Following this guide ensures your trees not only survive but thrive, enhancing your outdoor space’s beauty. Embrace these simple yet effective practices to foster healthy, resilient trees year-round. Your trees will thank you with vibrant growth and lasting vitality. 

At Audet Enterprises, we understand the importance of year-round tree care. Trust our expertise to nurture your trees for health and longevity. Contact us today for comprehensive tree care solutions tailored to your outdoor space’s needs.

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