Fall means a kaleidoscope of colors, cooler temperatures, apple cider, and pumpkin spice everything. Fall also means that it is time to get your trees and shrubs in shape for the cooler months ahead. We at Branch Management have prepared the following 5 fall tree care tips to ensure the health of your trees, shrubs, and plants through the seasons.
#1. Fertilize for Healthy Growth
After the triple-days of summer have passed, and before the cooler temperatures of winter arrive, it is a good idea fertilize your trees. Fall provides the perfect opportunity to make sure your trees regain any nutrients they may have lost during the summer and continue to feed during the cooler winter months. Apply a slow-release fertilizer now to encourage healthy growth next spring.
#2. Give Your Trees a Drink
Watering your trees during times of low precipitation, such as during summer and winter droughts, is necessary to ensure healthy growth. Occasional watering during the winter can be a lifesaver – especially for young trees. Once a month should be enough. It is important to note, however, that you should only water when temperatures permit it. Don’t water when the soil is frozen.
#3. Timely Planting
Fall is actually the opportune time to plant new trees. The combination of warm soil and cool air in the fall enables the establishment of strong root systems. September through late October are ideal for planting. When planting in the fall, select balled-and-burlapped or container-grown plants rather than bare-rooted plants, which should only be planted in early spring.
#4. Add Mulch
Add 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch around your shrubs and trees once in the fall and again in the spring. Mulch helps protect roots from frost and helps retail moisture during cold winter days. Also of benefit; mulch helps suppress weeds and, overtime, can break down thus increasing your soil’s structure and fertility. Shredded hardwood, organic compost, and cocoa mulch are all good choices.
#5. Prevent Winter Damage
Fall is the best time to start preparing for snow, frost, and cold temperatures. It is recommended that you cable, brace, and prune to minimize stress and ensure the health of your trees. This is especially important for young or weakened trees. Pruning in the fall can be easier because most trees lose their leaves during this time, exposing the structure underneath.