Arbor Tips

January - Pruning Trees

While not all trees go completely dormant, such as Live Oaks and Magnolias, the dormant phase is the best time to prune.  This time is usually in late winter when it is coldest, just before spring.  One reason is that while the tree is dormant, it will lose its leaves giving you the best opportunity to look over your tree to find limbs that should be removed, such as those that are dead or have defects.  For evergreens, which are trees that do not shed their leaves, this is the time of year when the canopy is the thinnest.  Here are a couple quick tips to keep in mind when pruning trees:

  • Always make proper cuts (e.g. cut limbs or branches back to the branch collar or lateral limbs)
  • Do not top
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf baring canopy

To learn more, visit the Arbor Division website at or contact the City Urban Forestry Supervisor at 229-259-3530.

February - Georgia Arbor Day

Georgia Arbor Day is held in February on the third Friday.  This year in Valdosta, we will be celebrating for an entire week - February 13-17.  To learn more, please check out our exciting Arbor Week Celebration events.   

March - Mulching

Spring will be here officially on Monday, March 20th and many are starting to clean up their yards and place mulch.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when placing mulch around your trees and shrubs:

  • Leave at least 6 – 12 inches clear of mulch at the base of the tree or shrub
  • Never pile mulch up around the base of the tree or shrub because this can hold moisture around the root collar causing unnecessary pest and decay
  • Mulch no more than 4 inches in height
  • When possible, extend the mulch all the way to the edge of the canopy or “drip line”

To learn more, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation “The Importance of Mulching” or contact the City Urban Forestry Supervisor at (229) 259-3530.

April - Celebrate Nature

April is a great month to reflect on trees and nature by celebrating Earth Day and National Arbor Day.  To highlight this exciting month, here are just a few of the many reasons we plant, preserve and protect our trees:

  • Attractive
  • Provide habitat for birds, animals, etc.
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce air and noise pollution
  • Minimize stormwater and erosion
  • Save energy costs for cooling and heating
  • Increase property values as much as 20%
  • Reduce crime
  • Stimulate economic growth
  • Enhance human health and wellness

To learn more, please visit the Green Cities: Good Health or contact the City Urban Forestry Supervisor at (229) 259-3530.

May - Drought Tolerant Plant Material

With several areas of the state of Georgia experiencing water restrictions due to drought conditions, it is always a good time to think about native and drought tolerant landscape designs.  Below are a few popular trees, shrubs and ground covers that will not only grow in our area, but do well in droughts.

Trees Shrubs Ground Cover
American Holly Chase Tree Carolina Jasmine
Bald Cypress Juniper Confederate Jasmine
Chinese Pistachio Tea Olive Creeping Juniper
Crepe Myrtle Viburnum Mondo Grass

To learn more about each of these and other options, check out the NC Extension and just enter the name into the Search Box.  Also, to find out more about the water restrictions in Georgia, please visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Water Conservation.




Dept. Head

Patrick S. Collins, P.E.


Valdosta City Hall Annex
300 N. Lee Street
Valdosta, GA 31601 

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