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5 Tree Care Tips for Fall

Fall season
Autumn will soon be here. Your trees' leaves will start to change colors and then fall to the ground. Fall may not seem like a prime season for tree care, but if you spend a little time on tree maintenance in the coming weeks, you can boost your trees' health throughout the year. Get started by following these five tree care tips for fall.

1. Deep Water

If you have young trees that you watered throughout the spring and summer, cut back on your watering schedule when fall arrives and temperatures fall. This actually helps the trees toughen up in preparation for winter. In late fall after the trees have lost their leaves, however, you should give both young and mature trees a deep watering. 

To deep water a tree, apply the water along the dripline, which is the circle of ground beneath the outer edges of the tree's canopy. This is where the roots are most able to absorb the water. Water until the soil is moist - but not soggy - at a depth of one foot beneath the surface. This deep watering will ensure the tree has all the moisture it needs heading into winter.

2. Mulch

After you have deep watered your trees, apply a good layer of wood mulch around them. Make sure you do not pack the mulch directly against the trunk, as this can lead to rot. The mulch will help keep the soil warmer as temperatures drop in the fall. In addition, the mulch will slowly break down, imparting more nutrients into the soil. The tree can draw on these nutrients the next spring as it begins growing again. 

3. Don't Prune Too Soon

Many people rush to prune their trees in the fall. However, early fall is actually a bad time to prune a tree. When the weather is still warm, your tree is at risk for infection in the wounds that pruning causes. Moreover, early fall pruning may stimulate the tree to grow, and cold temperatures will then harm the new growth.

Wait until the trees' leaves have fallen to prune. November is usually the best time. If you do not get around to pruning in the late fall, do not worry. You can also prune your trees in late winter or early spring before the buds break. 

4. Wrap Young Trunks

If you have any young trees, you may want to wrap their trunks with plastic in late fall. This protects them from hungry animals that may eat their bark in the winter.

To wrap a tree properly, start at the bottom, tucking the plastic into the soil. Wrap upward, making sure your layers of wrap overlap one another. Stop at the lowest branches. This approach helps prevent moisture from seeping under the wrap.

5. Rake Leaves Early and Often

Many homeowners do not realize that raking leaves does more than keep your yard looking tidy. Raking leaves also protects your trees from infection. Fungi that spend the winter in the tree's fallen leaves and then reinfect the tree once spring arrives cause many tree diseases, like anthracnose. If you rake up the leaves early and often, you will protect your tree from these diseases.

This autumn, remember to spend some time caring for the trees on your property. They will thank you in the spring with more plentiful, vibrant foliage. If you want a tree care service to help prune or remove your trees, contact Holcomb Tree Service. Our certified arborists have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide your trees with top-notch care and service through all four seasons.
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