Although summer has passed and the demand for intensive watering has ended, it doesn’t mean you should stop caring for your trees. The end of summer is the best time to prepare your trees for the harsh cold winter season brings and give them a headstart in the spring. Regular and preventative maintenance and some gardening practices in the fall promote health and strength throughout the winter season. It allows for a better growing environment come spring. Here are some tips to help you care for your trees in the fall:
Mulch around the base of the tree. Apply organic mulch under your tree in early winter to assist in water retention and insulate the soil to control extreme temperatures. The mulch will act as a thin blanket that will protect your tree from different factors that can cause its deterioration, such as extreme cold, water loss, and wards off weeds.
Water generously. If you think watering ends in summer, you got it wrong. Winter droughts demand the same intensity in watering as in summer—water the young trees to save them from death. Make sure to water your trees when the ground is not frozen.
Prevent injuries. Breaking or splitting branches are usually caused by the accumulated weight of snow or chewing by animals. To prevent this from happening, you can wrap the tree’s base with a metal hardware cloth or plastic guard. Temperature-related damage can be solved by wrapping trees with plastic cloth or burlap. Make sure to get rid of the guards and wraps when spring comes to prevent damage when the trees start to grow. Shoveling snow can also be harmful to trees, so make sure to be on guard when eliminating snow around them because trees can get injured from their edges.
Prune your trees. It is an excellent time to conduct routine pruning in late fall. Trees are inactive during the cold season, and it is also more convenient for the arborist to prune away branches since there are no leaves on the limbs. Just be sure to use the correct pruning technique and timing for your tree’s species to ensure their health in the following season.
Plant more. People are amazed by the beautiful leaves shed by trees during fall, but not many realize that it is ideal for adding new trees to their yard. When the weather has become cooler, it provides an advantageous condition for trees to grow their roots. When the roots have been established in winter, spring rains and summer sun stimulate new top growth. For optimum result, plant burlapped and balled trees in the fall. On the other hand, bare-root plants would benefit from planting later in the season, when they are inactive.
While there are many resources available to find out more about tree care, it is best to ask for help from a professional arborist or tree company. If you are unsure how to treat your trees properly throughout the year, seek advice from an ISA Certified Arborist to help manage your tree’s health, particularly mature ones. A professional arborist can diagnose the actual condition of your tree and provide its needs to thrive.