Fall is an essential time in the care of your trees. With the changing weather and temperature fluctuations, you need to be aware of ways you can benefit your trees during this time and through the winter to come.
Here are three simple ways to help your trees this fall:
Fertilize Your Trees
Fertilizing your trees in the fall after leaf drop will improve tree vitality. If you rake up fallen leaves, beneficial nutrients are lost that might benefit the tree as the organic matter decays. Fertilizing can help to replace some of these beneficial elements and add critical nutrients that may be naturally lacking in your soil.
Prescriptions for fertilization should be made by a certified arborist so that a proper balance of nutrients and the correct amount is applied. A soil test can provide important information so that prescriptions and applications are made correctly.
Over fertilizing will create a number of problems that include burning of tissue, tissue death, and an increase in leaf feeding insects.
Fertilizing trees is best in fall or spring. While summer applications may be needed, trees should not be fertilized in late summer as it may increase tissue growth that will not prepare itself properly for the fall and winter season.
Water, Especially If Your Trees Are Young
Yes, you will need to water your trees in the fall, especially if it has been a dry fall, and do it before the ground freezes. A good soaking prior to winter is one of the best things you can do for your tree. Trees move a large amount of chemicals in late summer and fall as they prepare for the coming winter.
Water helps this process and puts the right chemicals in the right place to reduce tissue freezing and set the stage for next spring’s explosion of new tissue.
This step is especially important if you have evergreens or newly transplanted, young trees. Evergreens (pines, spruce, fir, holly, some magnolias) will dry rapidly in freezing and windy weather. Recharging soil moisture in the fall prepares for this stressful time.
In young trees, watering helps prevent transplant shock, as a long, deep soak will help their root systems to thrive and provide the tree with ample nutrients.
Depending on how you winterize your outdoor faucets and hoses, a mid-winter watering helps trees after a prolonged dry spell. If temperatures are above freezing, and the ground is not frozen, get out and enjoy a winter day and water your trees! Be ready to tell your neighbors why!
Schedule A Plant Health Care Appointment With A Professional
To protect your trees in the fall and maintain their vigor, schedule a plant health care appointment with a Certified Arborist. A professional will come to your home and scout for any issues your tree could be experiencing and prescribe a treatment, be it preventative or curative. Schedules are less hectic and you may be able to take advantage of special “off-season” pricing.