Rarely this summer were weather conditions normal. From a drought in California to downpours that turned into sweltering heat in the Midwest, challenging weather kept us on our toes. A change in seasons now means a change in the air for much of the country, but don’t crack open a window and get ready to kick back and enjoy those ideal nights for sleeping just yet. First, you’ll want to spend some time outside getting your property ready to hibernate, too.
A well-rounded fall tree care and maintenance plan can help ensure good plant health. Follow the steps in these three phases, and then you can rest easy, knowing your property will be set to withstand the winter months and ready to look great when spring rolls around.
Phase I: Post-Labor Day
- Inspect trees and shrubs for invasive insect species and diseases, and treat properly.
- Remove critical-risk trees.
- Plant new trees and shrubs. Before planting new trees, be sure to consider whether your planting location provides adequate space to grow and a proper soil type.
Phase II: Before Halloween
- Prune dead, diseased or unsafe branches. Ridding your trees of these branches helps them live longer and withstand severe weather conditions.
- Mulch trees and shrubs as appropriate. When applied at a depth of 2 to 4 inches, good mulch helps to keep organic matter in the soil, conserve moisture and provide weed control.
- Fertilize trees and shrubs. Applying a slow-release fertilizer helps to compensate for the nutrients sapped away by lawns and other plants.
Phase III: Before Thanksgiving
- Remove leaf piles from beds and turf.
- Cable or brace weak limbs to prepare for winter’s severe weather.
- Water evergreen trees. Watering is especially vital for younger, less established trees.
For more fall tree care tips, download the free Davey Fall Tree Care Checklist.