Fall here in Ohio doesn’t mean your tree care is over. In fact, there are a few things to do now that will set your trees up for success next year. However, Ohio fall tree care is not the same as other parts of the country. Here are a few pro-tips to keep your trees healthy all year long.
Keeping your tree hydrated all year is important, especially for new or young trees. In the fall, your trees are preparing to go dormant. They lose all their leaves and focus all of their resources down to their roots. To encourage this root growth, make sure your trees are getting one inch of water per week. This can be from rainfall, your sprinkler system, or from manual watering.
Fall Tree Fertilization
While your trees are strengthening their roots, they enter a high-absorption mode. Water and nutrients are greedily absorbed by the roots in order to prepare the tree for the dormant winter season. This means fall is the best time to fertilize your trees. Take advantage of your tree’s rapid absorption with a tree care program that includes fall fertilization service.
Protect Your Trees From the Elements
Here in Ohio, we know that the winter can be brutal. Snow, ice, freezing temperatures, and dry wind can all cause plenty of problems for our trees and shrubs. Fall is a great time to ensure your trees and shrubs are protected from the winter elements. Protect your investments with these tips.
Wrap Your Trees
Dry winter winds sap your trees and shrubs of essential moisture while the beating sun can cause sunscald. Sunscald occurs when the winter sun heats up the bark of your trees, activating the tissue. When the sun disappears behind a cloud, building, or the horizon, then the temperature on the bark drops back down to freezing. These temperature fluctuations cause tissue damage and death, also called sunscald.
You can protect your trees from the dry wind and potential sunscald by wrapping them. Use burlap or light-colored tree wraps to repel the sun and block the wind. This will keep your trees at a consistent temperature while also retaining moisture.
One of the best things you can do for your trees this fall is adding mulch. Mulch protects your tree roots in several ways. It helps conserve moisture, insulates against fluctuating temperatures, prevents weeds from growing, and even keeps your trees safe from lawnmower damage.
It’s best to use an organic mulch, like shredded bark or wood chips. Never apply more than three inches. Spread the mulch evenly around the base and avoid piling the mulch against the trunk of your tree as this will give easy access for pests to get to your tree.
Protect Your Trees From Animals
Not only are your trees and shrubs at risk from the elements, they’re also at risk from animal damage. Damage from rubbing deer and hungry voles can even result in the death of your trees and shrubs. Here are a few fall tree care tips to keep your investments safe from animals.
Damage from deer is a year-round headache for homeowners. Around this time of year, deer will rub their antlers against trees to remove their felt. They will also feed on your trees in the winter when food is scarce. Protect your trees by putting up barriers like fences or wire cages. It’s also a good idea to invest in a deer repellent.
Voles are some of the most destructive pests for trees in the winter. These opportunistic rodents create burrows under the snow, feeding on your grass and plants. However, when your trees are easily accessible, voles will feed on the bark. If they aren’t controlled, voles can girdle a tree. Tree girdling is when a strip of bark is gnawed or stripped away around the entire circumference of a tree. This cuts off the transfer of water and nutrients up the tree, resulting in the death of everything above the removed strip.
You can prevent tree girdling from voles by wrapping a tree guard around the trunk of your tree. The guard should reach above the snowline and be buried about two inches below the soil. Keep mulch from piling up against the trunk of your tree to make it more difficult for voles to reach the bark of your tree. You can make your lawn inhospitable to voles by removing overgrown brush and keeping your lawn cut short, especially with your last cut of the year.
Fall is the time of year when insects look for a place to overwinter. For tree-loving pests like scale and spider mites, this means cozying up on the bark of trees and waiting out the winter. In the spring, when temperatures rise and sap begins to flow again, these destructive tree-pests will become active again. The best way to control these pests and protect your trees is with a dormant oil application at the end of fall and the beginning of spring. Dormant oil coats the overwintering insects, cutting off their air supply and preventing an infestation.
Deep Root Fertilization
Here in Ohio, fall tree care could also include deep root fertilization. This method of fertilization is especially beneficial to trees because it injects a high-pressure mix of fertilizer, insecticide, and water directly into the root zone. This means that your trees doesn’t need to compete with other plants for these nutrients and it gets them immediately.
Need Help With Your Fall Tree Care? Call the Pros.
If you want to give your trees the best shot at success, call the professionals at Land Art. Our yearly tree care program includes fall dormant oil application, fall fertilization, and an optional deep root fertilization as needed. With lawn care, weed control, and insect control services, Land Art is your one-stop-shop for all things lawn care.