1. Baby Your Young Trees
Cold winters can take a toll on trees of any age, but especially young trees. The freeze/thaw cycle can do serious damage to still-developing roots. You can take two steps to reduce the harmful effects of freezing temperatures.
First, spread a layer of mulch around the base of the tree, but do not pile it up against the trunk, or it may lead to fungal growth. Mulch cover protects the root system from dropping temperatures.
You also can wrap the base of the tree trunk in burlap. This will help stunt the damaging effects of freezing temperatures, and it also can protect the base of the tree from road salt chemicals if it’s near a street. Don't tie it too tightly, or it can girdle the tree, and be sure to remove the burlap in the spring as it can have a negative impact over time on some trees.
Cold weather preparation is vital for every tree, but especially those at the early stages of growth.
2. Plant When the Temperature Cools Down
Fall is one of the best times of the year to plant trees. Without the hot summer sun beating down, the newly planted tree is at less of a risk of suffering from drought. It’s easier to keep trees hydrated when the outside air begins to cool. It also gives the trees a little bit of time for roots to establish before winter, and some time in the spring before leaves emerge.
3. No Summer Sun? You Still Need to Water
Fall tree care isn’t complete without a healthy amount of watering. The sun isn’t as strong, but your trees still need plenty of water right up until the ground freezes. You will not be able to water them all winter, so they need adequate moisture up until the cold season fully begins.
4. Prune When the Leaves Fall
Depending on the type of tree, fall may be the best time to prune. Fall tree care should include maintenance pruning once all the leaves have fallen. This allows you to clearly see the structure of each branch and accurately assess which branches will be in danger of breaking from heavy snow (and potentially threatening your car or home). Make sure to remove branches that are dead or diseased. Hire an arborist for professional advice if you aren’t sure how to properly prune your trees.
The team at Rivendell Tree Experts knows the importance of year-round tree maintenance. Call us for help with fall tree care — we’ll make sure your trees are ready to face winter.