Autumn heralds the arrival of many things: the return of school days, the Halloween holiday and of course, the beginning of tree maintenance season. If you thought that the spring or summer seasons were the height of arbor season, then guess again: fall is the best time to nurse your trees back to health from a hot summer while preparing them for the onset of winter. Take advantage of the cooler months of autumn by giving your trees one last checkup before the first snowfall – you’ll rest easier knowing that you did everything to ensure that your trees stay healthy, even during the coldest winter imaginable!
Prune Away. Sure, pruning should be done all year round – but now that autumn’s here, it’s time to bust out every tree-trimming tool you have to prepare for the winter months. The cooler autumn weather means that your trees are less vulnerable to the stress of pruning; therefore, if there are a few dead branches hanging from your tree, now is the time to get rid of them.
Prevention Is Key. There’s not much you can do during the winter months to keep your trees healthy and fit; therefore, autumn is all about prevention. Wrap the base of younger trees with tree paper (available at hardware stores and nurseries) to prevent frost cracks from forming, which can stunt the growth of trees once spring arrives again.
Fertilize And Mulch One Last Time. Winter can be just as harsh as summer when it comes to your tree’s water retention, as frozen soil lacks moisture. Therefore, to ensure that your tree gets as much moisture as possible before the onset of winter, apply one last layer of fertilizer and mulch around the base of your trees. Remember to apply a two to four inch layer of mulch to give your trees the most moisture and nutrients possible.
Cover Any Young Trees. Any saplings that were planted during the spring or summer months are still too young to endure a tough winter; therefore, it’s vital to provide protection to your saplings during the cooler autumn months. Once the leaves have fallen, cover younger trees with a breathable canvas (again, you can find these at hardware stores and nurseries). The warm canvas will protect vulnerable saplings from debilitating winter winds while still allowing them to retain necessary moisture and winter sunlight.