A Fall tree care plan is extremely important to make sure your tree thrives in fall and is prepared for winter. Below you will find what fall tree care you should be performing from September-November.
Fertilize To Prepare Your Tree’s Roots
Fertilizing is one of the best ways to keep your trees healthy. Applying in the fall helps protect the tree from winter damage.
Trees in the forest have an abundance of nutrients because of the delicate forest environment that has evolved over millions of years. The trees in our yards; however, are a whole other story. Trees in urban and suburban environments face high-stress conditions like low moisture availability, compaction, physical damage, and construction. Plus as we rake away leaves, twigs, and fall bark we remove nutrients that would have naturally decomposed, feeding the roots.
When faced with these conditions trees will not reach their full landscape potential, have a shorter lifespan, and will be more susceptible to insects and diseases. To combat this you must invest in a tree maintenance program that mitigates these high-stress conditions. Other than regular trimming, fertilization one of the best tree maintenance efforts you can do.
Rake To Remove Fallen Tree Leaves
Disease causing fungi love to hide and overwinter in a tree’s fallen leaves. When the weather starts to warm in spring rain drops awaken the overwintering spores allowing them to reinfect the tree. Raking these leaves & removing them will limit your tree’s chances of contracting a disease or being re-infected.
Plant New Trees During Fall
Fall is the best time to plant new trees. With cooler temperatures, there is less chance of the new tree dying from sun scorch or drought.
Mulching insulates a tree’s roots helping protect it from the approaching cold of late fall and winter. It also helps the soil retain moisture and organic matter.
Applying mulch around trees is one of the best things you can do for the health of your trees. Especially for young trees, mulching is a quick and cost-effective technique that provides numerous benefits.
How To Apply Mulch:
Size: The best mulching goes out as far as the drip line of the tree. However, this isn’t reasonable for most homeowners with large trees. If this isn’t practical, apply mulch in a 2 to 3-foot radius around the tree instead.
Depth: About 2-4 inches
Do not pile the mulch against the trunk of the tree. Instead keep it away from the trunk, so that the root flare zone is visible.
To refresh the look of mulch, lightly rake the top layers of the mulch, or simply remove the old mulch and replace with new mulch. Don’t pile new layers on top of old ones.
Do not use fresh wood chips for mulching around young trees. Fresh wood chips have a higher acidity and can injury a young tree.
Water to Keep Plants Hydrated
Although the summer heat has passed your tree can still suffer drought stress. Make sure your trees are hydrated.
Watering Tips For Fall Tree Care:
Focus on the critical root zone when watering. Wetting foliage is pointless and can promote the spread of diseases.
DON’T use a sprinkler. This only wets the top layer of soil and doesn’t properly water the tree.
Water in the morning to avoid evaporation and to help trees deal with the heat throughout the day.
Water deeply and thoroughly 1 to 2 times a week.
Put your normal hose somewhere in the critical root zone.
Turn hose on to a dribble
Leave for 2-3 hours
Move the hose to a different spot in the critical root zone and leave for 2-3 hours. Repeat this step 1-3 times.
You want the soil to be moist but not soaking. You should NOT be able to make a mud ball out of the soil.
It’s okay for some portions of the soil to be wet and some to be dry.
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