For many of us, Fall + Trees provides the perfect simple recipe of our dreams the previous 9 months. From December to September, we eagerly anticipate the return of vibrant colors and falling leaves that signal the arrival of a favorite season. But like all seasons, Fall brings its own set of challenges and requirements in keeping those beautiful, treasured trees alive and thriving.
Fall is a Prime Time to Plant
As the cooler weather sets in and the trees settle in for a break from all that reaching for the summer sun, conditions are perfect for stimulating root growth. And obviously, there’s less chance of stress from sun scorch, drought or extremely high temperatures. Early to Mid Fall is a great time to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs. Late Fall is best for bare root plants as they will be completely dormant.
Fall is for Fertilization
Yes, Fall is like February in that it’s a great time for Fertilization. This will help trees gain nutrients that were lost in in the summer and continue to feed over the winter. As we mentioned before, each tree is unique and requires its own set of particular macro and micronutrients. If this sounds overwhelming, we’d be happy to help you choose and apply the right food.
Fall is for Preparation
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), the cool temps of Fall only continue their decline into sometimes damaging frost. Naturally, you’ll want to spend some of the season preparing for the harsher conditions. Mulching can help retain water and reduce the felt effects of temperature extremes in the soil. You’ll wanna be careful not to pile on too high, but a thin layer can act as a blanket and give the roots extra protection.
Go ahead and hydrate the trees while the air is cool but not freezing… this will give them something to drink on throughout the winter.If you have a young tree, you may want to wrap with burlap or plastic cloth to prevent temperature damage
Fall is for Pruning…kinda
Finally, LATE Fall- is a great time to prune as trees are dormant and after the leaves have gone, it is much easier to clearly see the tree structure. (Early Fall is the time in the life of the tree when energy is being redirected to the roots and trunk to store for next years spring bud break so there won’t be any extra for healing pruning wounds.) Of course, make sure you know proper pruning techniques to avoid serious damage. We’ve got plenty more pruning tips here, here, here…
Are your tree leaves changing color too soon? That could mean your tree is stressed and needs your help. Girdling roots, disease, or insect issues could be leading to a thinning of the canopy prematurely. If you notice this or any other concerning abnormality, call us quickly before any further damage settles in or has a chance to spread. We’ll come to you and diagnose.