Autumn Tree Care
It’s starting to (sadly) get colder, and while my heart bleeds for the return of beaches and sunshine - let’s talk about fall tree care!
If you’re like me, you do absolutely nothing to your trees, ever. If you’re like Johnny, you climb the 60-foot Honey Locust in the backyard like a giddy 5-year-old and trim the deadwood out every year. But if you’re somewhere in between those two, there are a few things you can do to help your trees stay happy and healthy this fall.
If there’s a dry spell, trees need water in the fall just as much as they do in the summer, provided the trees and ground aren’t frozen yet. The fall is also a great time to add a layer of mulch around the base of the tree (but not climbing up the trunk - think a thin layer, with a thicker ring around the edge). This gives the tree some protection, allowing it to hold more water and also moderate the extreme temperatures.
PRUNE & PLAN
If you’re looking to plan ahead by structurally pruning your trees to achieve a desired shape, fall is an excellent time, mainly because all the leaves are gone and you can get a really clear look at it’s basic structure. It’s also a good time to plan for the winter months. If you live in Barrie I’m sure you remember the ice storm a few winters ago. Our street lost several trees that winter, namely our neighbour’s big, beautiful maple tree that cracked and had a huge limb fall (thankfully not on our house - but it sure felt like it did!). If you have concerns regarding dead areas that didn’t produce leaves during the summer or some visible damage, now is a good time to get it assessed, before a winter storm strikes. But removal isn’t always the only option! Depending on the severity you can prune the areas of concern, or utilize some of the great, less invasive cabling methods available.
For young trees especially, it’s important to protect them from injury, whether that be from falling ice and snow, animals, or snow plough/shovel blades. In late fall, consider wrapping susceptible tree trunks in metal hardware cloth or a plastic guard. If you’re concerned about extreme temperature shifts, you can also wrap them in plastic or burlap cloth. Just remember to remove them in the spring!
Fall is also a great time to plant! While a healthy tree can be planted successfully during the regular growing season if properly cared for, the best time to plant a tree is in the fall after all the leaves have dropped or in early spring before the buds have grown. This is because it gives the tree roots time to grow in their new environment before they start experiencing the added pressure of more top growth. If this is something your interested in, be sure to check out our previous blog on Planting a Tree!
*If planting a bare-root tree, this should be done later in the season when they are completely dormant
Well that's all folks! Have a happy autumn!