With fall just around the corner it is time for leaves to begin turning color and eventually falling. Although we’re coming to the end of the growing season, proper care will ensure that your trees go into dormancy on a healthy note.
Following these tips below can protect your trees this winter.
- Keep trees adequately watered this fall. An inch of rainfall per week is generally sufficient, but with our unpredictable weather, be prepared to supplement with additional watering from a sprinkler set under the canopy of the tree. Remember that roots can extend as far out as the tree is tall so keep the entire area watered for best results.
- Mulching around the base of the tree will help retain soil moisture and keep the ground from freezing, allowing more time for roots to grow. Wood chips are a great, and natural, material to use as mulch. A 2”- 3” thick layer of mulch will help reduce weeds allowing you to keep weed whips and lawn mowers away from the trunk of the tree.
- Mulch should not be piled up against the trunk of the tree, but rather at ground level right next to the trunk.
- Fall can be a good time to fertilize trees that are lacking nutrients. Timing is important to not promote a flush of new growth that will not be hardened off prior to freezing temperatures. If not completed early enough (September), wait until the tree has gone into dormancy in late November to fertilize.
- Fall is a good time to evaluate trees for insect damage. The life cycle of most insects differs, so a tree care professional should be consulted if significant damage is noted.
- Use the season to get a dormant prune scheduled. Removing dead and broken limbs can help improve the health of the tree, as well as reduce insect and fungi damage during the winter.