Tree Care Tips for the Fall Season
Most trees seem to be in a state of hibernation when winter season rolls around, but they can still undergo severe stress when challenging winter conditions trouble them. You can minimize the stress by doing some things to help your trees manage those cold winter months, and then you’ll be rewarded in the springtime when they make it through the season healthy and vibrant again. Here are some of the things you can do during the winter season to help your trees cope with the difficult conditions.
Use plenty of mulch
It’s a good idea to place lots of composted organic mulch around the base of your trees in early fall or winter, so that water can be retained better, and so extremes of temperature don’t penetrate deep into the soil. Even a thin layer of mulch will act very much like a blanket, and provide a layer of protection for tree roots that will help them survive challenging weather conditions.
Help avoid tree damage
When ice or snow piles up on branches, it can cause splitting or breakage, and that can be a serious problem for your trees. If you’re located anywhere near a wildlife center, you might also have chewing and rubbing which occurs on the reachable portions of your trees. You can avoid problems like these by wrapping young trees in a hard plastic guard, or some kind of metal hardware cloth. Temperature-related damage can be avoided by wrapping your trees with a plastic cloth or with burlap.
Keep in mind that you will have to remove any wrappings that you apply in springtime, so as to avoid any damage which might occur when your trees begin to grow again. Make sure that you don’t cause any harm to your trees by plowing snow or by shoveling it onto the base around the trees. Whenever you have snow removal efforts going on around your trees, make sure that plow blades don’t come into contact with them, and that shovels don’t scrape against the bark of your trees.
Keep your trees watered
Droughts can occur just as easily during winter as they can during summer, and that means you’ll need to make a little extra effort to keep your trees watered. When the weather thaws a little bit, that would be a good time to supply your trees with a good drink of water, because it just might be a lifesaver in terms of their survival of the season. Make sure to only do watering of your trees when the weather is cool but not freezing.
Keep trees pruned
Autumn is an excellent time to have your trees properly pruned, primarily because trees tend to be dormant during the cold winter months. It’s also much easier to see the actual structure of a tree when there are no leaves obscuring your vision, and the branches are much easier to identify. Good pruning is important to the health of trees because it helps relieve stress on them, and it keeps them growing properly. Make sure to use proper pruning methods so that you don’t injure the tree in any way.
Plant more trees
Another thing that autumn is great for is planting more trees, and once the cooler weather sets in, you’ll have perfect conditions for stimulating new root growth in recently planted trees. Roots can become established through the late fall and early winter, and then the warm spring rainfalls will encourage new growth to begin. Fall is a great time for planning burlapped trees as well as balled-up trees, and any bare-root plants should be put in the ground later in the season, when they tend to be totally dormant.