Fall is a beloved season for many reasons, and one of those is the beauty of fall foliage coming in shades of orange, yellow, and red. But beyond the beauty, did you know that autumn is an important season for fall tree care tips?
Being nestled between summer and winter means that your trees have faced some hot temperatures and potential droughts, and will soon be enduring more extreme weather with winter snows and cold temps. This makes fall tree care all the more imperative!
If you don’t know where to start to care for your trees during the fall months, these three tips are great starter points. If you have further questions, its important to remember that our customer service team is always happy to help.
Mulch and fertilize your trees.
The first step to tree care in preparation for winter is to make sure that the roots are protected. The roots are incredibly critical when you care for trees because it’s through them that trees get all of their life-giving nutrients. From our blog on winterizing trees: “Winter conditions, like cold ground temperatures and frosty mornings, make it more difficult for trees to get the nutrients that they need. As such, mulch and slow release fertilizer are keys to safe trees. While fertilizer helps bring the soil to optimal nutrient-dense levels, mulch acts as a protective agent. When you spread a layer of mulch around the base to winterize trees, you help protect the soil from harsh conditions and therefore make it easier for the tree to absorb the water it needs for photosynthesis and other processes. The combination of fertilizer and mulch promotes root development and helps the trees endure winter. Make sure you fertilize 6-8 weeks before your first expected frost date. Fertilizing too late in the season will encourage new growth too soon to having freezing temperatures. Bonus: mulching around the trees means you’ll need to weed less when spring does arrive!”
You can purchase some of Perfect Plant’s all purpose year-round fertilizer here!
Hydrate your trees.
Healthy trees are hydrated trees, so always consider the hydration status and needs in your tree care plan. Water trees thoroughly at all times of the year if you are not being supplemented with rainfall.
While you may not have had an overly dry summer, the high heat can still keep trees from absorbing optimal water (much like humans) — which is why you should consider giving them a big drink of water before winter sets in. Start with any trees where you see signs of heat stress — irregular yellowing on interior leaves/needles; wilted, droopy leaves; or rust-colored spots on leaves.
Need some help with the watering part of tree care? Consider using our Tree Gator Jr. Pro; it reduces water waste and guarantees that your tree is regularly receiving an adequate amount of water. It’s also highly convenient and means you don’t have to drag the water hose around when you want to care for your trees. Newly planted trees need more water than anything else.
Prune your trees.
Another key component for healthy tree care, pruning trees in the fall is simply a great time because of less leaves and therefore greater visibility. Especially for deciduous trees. When you prune during dormant season, you help them become more disease-resistant and give them a strong foundation for growing once it’s spring. It also ensures that you don’t have accidents during winter due to dead branches falling after a heavy snow storm. Make sure you prune 6-8 weeks before last projected frost date in anticipation for spring. Prepare your trees for winter and spring!
Check out another blog post on pruning here!
Fall is also a great time to plant new trees! Maples, pines, and a few others will grow enough to thrive next spring if planted in fall.
Do you have questions about how to care for trees during the fall? Let us help!