The first day of fall was Tuesday, Sept. 23, but that day doesn’t just mark the official end of summer. Unfortunately, it means that many homeowners and tree care professionals are already seeing the wet, white flurries of the future in the air.
Trees need proper care to prepare for the cold winter months, so naturally, the fall season is the time to get it done. Winter puts a lot of stress on trees and proper care will help them make it through the long season. Here are a few things you should do:
In the early fall, you should stop watering deciduous and evergreen trees, and not worry about watering them again until after the leaves have fallen. Trees are still growing at this point in the season and watering could encourage new growth. If a frost comes the tree could be damaged.
Once the leaves have fallen, go ahead and give the trees a drink again. Water deeply until the ground is frozen. Evergreen trees never lose their foliage and go into full dormancy in the winter, so they will definitely a good amount of water before the winter hits.
More on best water practices can be found here.
This is a good time to remove any diseased, damaged or dead branches. Pruning is generally reserved for the tree's dormant season, however, getting rid of dead or diseased branches and light pruning is OK throughout the year. Don't go overboard. You don't want to encourage new growth on the tree just before the cold season comes on. If you're unsure of what to do, consult an arborist and have them do the work for you. They are trained in proper techniques.
Mulch acts like a little blanket for tree roots in the winter months, and it also helps retain water and reduce temperature extremes in the soil. So, add a thin layer in the fall or early winter.
Proper and regular maintenance of your properties trees does take some work, but making it a priority will help your trees live longer, healthier and happier lives.
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