Fall Tree Care

How to Care for your trees during Fall

We’re getting into fall which means that that fresh crisp air wafts its way back into our lives, Sundays become football-days, and the clothes change to winter-mode. It also means that your tree is about to or is in the process of going “dormant.” You’ll start to notice the leaves turning color and there is a different kind of beauty that the forest clothes itself with. 

But here’s the deal, trees adctually don’t go completely dormant. In fact, their root system is still very active and pests (the active ones at least) can still come in and wreak their havoc! Here’s a list of 7 things that you should be doing to your trees to keep them healthy, thriving, and ready to explode in growth come spring time.

1.       Mulch! – I know that we often have nice yards and well-manicured landscapes, but the reality of the matter is that Nature does winter tree care best. Look in any forest and you will find a dense layer of organic matter (mulch).

A study was done to see what type of fertilization method was most effective at keeping trees healthy and  thriving. Believe it or not, out of all the “magic” tree/landscape pills and potions that you see in the commercials, mulch turned out to be the best … looks like nature wins again!

2.       Keep Watering! – we’re often tempted to stop all of the water, since the tree is “dormant” right? Well, turns out that the root system is still very active, and that they still need water to survive!

Obviously you don’t need to water NEARLY as much as you do during the hot summer months, but you still need to give your trees a drink. I recommend downgrading your watering schedule to about half what you would in the early summer months.

3.       Inspect! – Look up! Because the leaves are gone, you can see more clearly a lot of what may be going on in the canopy. Look for things like mistletoe which is a parasitic plant, branches which may have broken in storms, and fungal conks that may have formed.

Obviously this blog isn’t long enough to go into detail of everything you may see, but if you do find something that doesn’t look quite right, or you just want to be on top of it and make sure nothing bad is going on, then reach t=out to a well-qualified Certified Arborist to help keep your tree healthy at this time.

4.       Rake Up! – this can be a really important one if you DO happen to find anything going on with your trees. Diseases on leaves often “over-winter,” meaning they hang around and repopulate during the spring. If you have some sort of leaf fungus or disease, you definitely want to get rid of them.

Simply bag them up and take them to your local brush recycling center. These places will sterilize the debris and resell it as “disease-free” mulch that you and others can use!

5.       Don’t Rake! – you know how nature does fertilization? By dropping leaves and other debris! Micro-organisms then take the tree-debris and break it down into the basic elements that the trees will use during the growing season!

This does 2 amazing things! First, it fertilizes the trees, keeping them thriving during the spring and summer months. It also feeds the good fungus and bacteria which make home in the soil and help pull nitrogen and oxygen out of the air that the tree needs!

6.       Fertilize! – Fall is a great time to fertilize your trees, depending on what kind and how healthy they are.

Evergreen trees are best treated in the fall, as they continue to use nutrients throughout the winter. Trees that are struggling to thrive or are unhealthy can really get a boost from the added nutrients that fertilizer  provides!

7.       Enjoy! – I don’t know about you, but Fall is one of my favorite times of the year! The crisp air, the fall colors … what a fantastic time to get outdoors and enjoy all of the joy that trees can provide!

Well, that about does it. One thing I love about trees is that they are VERY self-sufficient as long as they are healthy. Your job is just simply to make sure that the few things they do need throughout the year are provided, and they are sure to bring you many years of lasting memories and happiness! Now get outdoors and give your trees some love!

My Best, Always,

Matt Latham
Tree Care Ninja
ISA Arborist #TX-3737A


PS, if you need help with your tree care in mckinney, plano, allen, frisco, prosper, celina, melissa, anna, fairview, feel free to reach out to us at the number above and we'll be sure and help you with your trees!