The fall season is about to end, and winter is right around the corner. That doesn’t mean that you can ignore the trees in your backyard. If you need to get your trees checked, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire pros to get a look at them. For now, let’s check out how you can keep trees healthy for fall.
- Take care of the soil – When trees grow in the forest, they have soil full of activity and rich organic matter beneath them. The soil in forests is constantly fed by dead insects, leaves, twigs, branches, and all kinds of organic matter. That’s why trees in forests don’t need to worry about their nutrition. However, your home is a different case. You need to fertilize the soil, mulch it and reduce irrigation. Let’s dive deeper and figure out how you can do those three things.
- Fertilize the soil to freshen up mulch – Make sure that you fertilize the soil properly to replenish the nutrients that were lost in the previous growing season. Use a slow-release fertilizer that slowly releases nutrients in the soil and feeds the tree throughout the next few seasons. Slow-release fertilizers mimic nature by providing a consistent supply of nutrients so that the tree can grow new roots, leaves, and wood without getting burned by excess nutrients.
Next, it’s time to mulch around the tree. You can’t use plastic sheets. Instead, you need to get high-quality organic mulch that can make your tree thrive while protecting the soil. Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the ground and doesn’t allow weed seeds to sprout and compete with your tree for resources. It also prevents soil erosion and helps to keep it from freezing during the winter season.
Organic mulch like straw, ground-up leaves, and wood chips break down over time and add nutrients to the soil to feed the tree. Cover the ground with around two inches of compost and make sure not to pile it up around the trunk of the tree. That makes the trunk more susceptible to rot. Make sure that you mulch before the ground freezes up.
- Bring down irrigation – During the hot and scorching summer months, a good irrigation system can make your plants and trees grow and remain green. However, during the fall season, the soil stays moist and that’s why your trees would need less water. As the trees start shedding leaves and go dormant, they would barely need any additional water to survive.
As the days go by and temperatures get cooler, the ground would lose even less water to evaporation. By this time, it’s best to stop irrigation. You don’t want to flood the soil with excess water right before winter. It would cause root diseases and would also freeze the soil more easily when the frost hits.
- Remove leaf piles – After you take care of the soil, it’s time to clean it up. The autumn leaves with their yellow, orange and red hues make a dramatic scene around your home. However, they do fall at some point, and you need to rake them up to maintain healthy turf and avoid the development of snow mold.
Instead of raking them to a spot, rake them directly on a plastic tarp to make collection or storage easier. Don’t forget to collect leaves and leaf matter from the gutters either. Collect lawn clippings as well and ground them all up before adding them to the compost bin. Cleaning up the turf protects your trees from diseases caused by standing water and helps you create compost for feeding your trees during the growing season.
- Trim and prune – Tree pruning is essential for maintaining the health of your trees. You need to spot dead, infected, or excessively heavy branches and prune them down. This saves the tree from injuries, limits the spread of infection to healthier parts of the tree, and allows the tree to focus its resources on growing healthier branches during the next spring season.
Apart from that, pruning trees also protects you and your loved ones from getting injured by fallen branches. They can also damage your property if they are hanging dangerously over your home, car, or garage. In the worst-case scenario, fallen branches from your trees may injure a pedestrian and make you liable. If there are tree branches that look too big or difficult to handle, you can get help from a professional.
- Water your evergreens – While you don’t need to irrigate deciduous trees on your property, the same isn’t true for the evergreens. Fall is the perfect season for feeding your evergreens with plenty of water so that they stay hydrated throughout the winter season. Harsh winters can quicken water loss from the needles of your evergreens when the roots are frozen and can’t extract moisture from the ground. That’s why your evergreens need to be adequately hydrated right up to winter. Water regularly until the ground freezes.
- Inspect your trees for disease and insect damage – Take some time to inspect your trees for signs of damage from diseases and insects. This can be difficult without trained eyes. However, if you’re able to spot weird marks, strange liquids oozing out of the bark or patches, or other discoloration on leaves, you may hire the help of a certified arborist or tree care professional.
They would be able to diagnose the infection properly and prescribe treatments that would help restore your tree’s health. You can also hire a local arborist to lend their experienced eyes and knowledge for spotting such infections during the fall season.
Autumn may be the sign that tells you about the oncoming cold weather of the next season. That doesn’t mean you can stop thinking about your trees. This is the perfect time to maintain the health of your trees and take other steps that make them even stronger during the next spring season. If you need to get your tees checked by professionals, you can do so by searching for “tree service near me”.