Our Complete Guide to Fall Tree Care
Our Complete Guide to Fall Tree Care
October 3, 2022
As the temperatures start to cool and the foliage begins to change colors here in the San Antonio area, there’s no better time than now to get out and enjoy the crisp air by tending to your landscape. A fall care plan is crucial to the overall health, longevity and performance of your trees—and Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow is here to help you make the most of your tree maintenance endeavors throughout all seasons of the year. Read on to find our complete guide to taking care of your trees this fall.
Fertilizing your trees year-round can help enhance overall tree health and improve growth—especially toward the end of October or early November. During this time, trees are accustomed to getting large amounts of slow-release nutrients, and a slow-release fertilizer will serve as a substitute to help the tree recover from the growing season and prepare for the future. This application will help initiate the process of healthy root growth and really give your plants some extra power to withstand the colder months.
Although the colorful leaves are breathtaking during the autumn season, they do start to fall off of trees and can carry disease throughout your landscape—so it’s essential to rake them up to keep your grass healthy and prevent snow mold development. To keep your trees away from infection, it’s best to rake the leaves in your yard every so often and remove them throughout the next couple of months to keep your yard looking and feeling its absolute best.
Also a year-round necessity for tree care, mulching is a great way to provide your trees with a little extra protection and care throughout the colder months. Not only does mulching provide additional curb appeal for your trees, it actually protects tree roots and retains soil moisture via insulation. All of this helps improve soil nutrient levels and conditions—promoting healthy tree growth all year. High-quality, organic mulch will provide the best results—especially if it’s placed in a 2- to 3-foot radius around the tree at 2 to 4 inches deep.
During the chilly months, most of the negative effects of the harsh weather stem from the fact that trees and shrubs lose moisture through their pores located on their leaves or needles. The dry air and the winds can accelerate this effect, leading to increased water demand from the roots in order for the leaves to survive. The root system can have a hard time keeping up with these demands—resulting in browning and dying leaves and needles. This cycle is called winter burn, or desiccation. Adding anti-desiccant treatments to your fall tree care plan is a preventative measure to help stop this destructive cycle and sustain the health of leaves throughout the colder months—as they coat the upper and lower foliage in a protective wax coating to reduce moisture loss through the leaves.
Tree pruning is an essential practice throughout all seasons of the year—but it’s more crucial than ever during the fall and winter months. You’ll want to prune dead, diseased or unsafe branches from your trees not only to protect you and your home—but also to influence the structure and shape of your tree to withstand the brutal temperatures and harsh weather conditions that are quickly approaching. Start by trimming lifeless branches so they don’t succumb to snow and winds, and be sure to cut any cracked, loose, diseased-looking limbs close to the trunk without leaving a stub. Leave wounds exposed to heal, and if any tree branches look too large for you to handle—don’t hesitate to call a certified arborist nearby for professional, safe help.
Most importantly, as the warmer temperatures give way to cooler weather, the timing to plant new trees grows closer than ever. The fall is the perfect time to plant or transplant a tree, as it gives the roots time to acclimate and expand in cool, moist soil over the dormant season—producing better results once the spring growing season is here. From providing oxygen and mental health benefits to reducing pollution and improving the overall health of our environment—planting trees holds so much more importance than what appears on the surface level, and there’s no better time to start than now.
At Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow, make it our mission to expand knowledge, appreciation and awareness about the crucial importance of trees in our communities throughout all seasons of the year. To learn more about the importance of trees in our communities and for more information on how to become a part of the meaningful work that we do, be sure to check out our latest news for updated posts about trees and our environment—and don’t hesitate to give us a call at (210) 670-5297 or fill out our online form today.