Posted on November 26th, 2019
No matter how sturdy and healthy a tree may look, it could still use a little help now and then. Fall is an excellent time to do some tree care. Trees spend the fall preparing for winter. They drop their leaves and send all their resources down to the root. If they don’t get the nutrients they need before winter hits, you could be looking at damage or even tree death. Here are a few fall tree care tips to help your trees prepare for winter.
During the fall, trees need to get plenty of water. After they drop their leaves, trees focus all energy down into the roots. Rapid root growth and nutrient absorption herl the trees prepare for winter. If they don’t get enough water, their roots won’t grow as well. Make sure your trees get one inch of water every week.
Once winter hits, the dry winds will suck the moisture right out of evergreen trees and shrubs. Because the trees and shrubs go dormant and the ground is frozen, it’s impossible for the trees to replenish this lost water. Applying an anti-desiccant just before the winter will create a barrier, helping retain water.
Winters here in New Hampshire can take their toll on our trees and shrubs. Between the dry winds, freezing temperatures, heavy snow, salt spray, and animal damage, our trees could use all the help they can get. Here are a few fall tree care tips to help them prepare for the winter elements.
Heavy snow, dry winds, and salt spray from the roads can all cause stress and damage to our trees and shrubs. Even the sun gets in on the action. Sunscald happens when the sun heats up the bark of trees and shrubs, causing the tissue to wake up. When the sun dips below the horizon and the freezing temperatures return, the tissue is damaged. Sometimes, sunscald can even result in tree death.
The best way to protect your trees from these damaging elements is with a simple tree wrap. Use burlap or a light-colored tree wrap to help reflect the sun, maintaining a constant temperature.
Adding mulch is a winter game changer. Not only does it shield tree roots from fluctuating temperatures, but it also helps retain essential water. The benefits of mulch don’t stop there; in the spring, mulch will prevent nutrient-stealing weeds from growing. It’ll even protect your trees from potential lawn mower damage.
Applying mulch is simple. First, choose your type. The best mulch to choose is organic, something like shredded bark or wood chips. Next, you’ll need to properly apply it. Put down a layer of no more than three inches of mulch. Don’t pile the mulch up against the trunk of your tree. If you do, you’ll be putting up a welcome sign for hungry voles.
Young trees and shrubs are no match for hungry deer and voles. Don’t let your trees end up on the dinner menu. Here are a few fall tree care tips to protecting your ornamentals from voles and deer.
Voles are some of the most dangerous animals to trees and shrubs. Yes, tiny voles can take down a tree. During the winter, voles burrow through tall grass under the snow. Typically, they will feed off of the grass, but they also love eating the bark of trees. Voles eat through the layers of bark that transport water and nutrients from the roots, up to the rest of the tree. If a vole strips the bark around the entire circumference of a tree, the tree will die. This is called tree girdling and it can be devastating
Prevent tree girdling from winter vole activity by wrapping the trunk of your tree. Just make sure the wrap extends two inches below the soil and just above the snowline. You can also make your lawn inhospitable to voles by keeping the grass short. Keep mulch away from the trunk of your trees and they should be protected.
Hungry deer are devastating to shrubs and young trees. They chomp away at branches until nothing is left. Keeping our trees safe from deer can be difficult because they are intelligent, crafty, and can easily leap over a six-foot fence. Whether it be from rubbing antlers or voracious eating, deer can decimate the trees in your yard. Even deer deterrents can end up useless once they realize there isn’t any danger.
Here at Turf Unlimited, our deer guard is a deer repellent that gets applied right before the winter. This helps keep the hungry deer away. You can also dissuade them from entering your lawn by putting up an eight-foot fence.
Tree-eating insects, like aphids and scale, overwinter on the bark of trees. Here, they cozy up and wait out the winter. Once the warm spring temperatures return, they emerge from hibernation and begin eating. Our tool for fighting overwintering insects is dormant oil.
Dormant oil is a horticultural oil that protects trees and shrubs from overwintering insects. The viscous oil is applied to the entire tree when it goes dormant. The oil coats the overwintering insects, cutting off their air supply and eliminating them before they can emerge. An application of dormant oil in the fall and early spring will protect your trees and shrubs from hungry insects.
Keeping your trees and shrubs safe and healthy is a tough job. That’s why it’s best to trust your tree and shrub care to the experts at Turf Unlimited. Our plant health care services, like dormant oil, deer guard, anti-desiccant application, and winter pruning, will protect your ornamentals this winter.
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