Fall Tree Care

gray concrete road between brown and green leaf trees at daytime

Keep Your Trees Healthy and Ready for Winter

Fall in North Carolina can bring on some of the greatest foliage displays you’ve ever seen. Thousands flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway to check out the changing of the colors. The trees reward visitors with striking color changes from greens to ruby reds, rusty brown, glittering golds, and a bit of everything in between.

Fall signals the end of the warmer weather for the greater Gaston County NC area. However, just because it’s the end of warm weather and winter is right around the corner, it doesn’t mean you should forget about your trees. Fall is actually a wonderful time to prepare your trees for the coming cold weather and also make sure they get a healthy start next Spring. Taking advantage of color days to give your trees some TLC can help protect them during winter and help them have an optimal growing environment for next Spring.

We’ve put together a checklist to help ensure your trees are ready for winter and will continue growing strong into the next year!

Take Care of Your Soil

Trees that grow in a forest have rich soil to feed off of. This is due to all the nutrients from fallen leaves and other organic matter. Trees that are growing in your yard don’t necessarily have the same advantages. Here are three things you can do to enhance the soil and make it more hospitable to your tree, while providing it with the nutrients it needs.

Fertilize in the Fall

To make sure your tree receives the proper nutrients that were lost, apply a show release fertilizer during the fall. These slow releasing fertilizers mimic nature by slowly and steadily giving nutrients to the tree throughout its growing season. Having consistent access to nutrients will help the tree to grow new leaves, wood, and roots as the seasons progress.

Time to Freshen Up the Mulch

  • High quality organic mulch can give your tree a huge boost. Here’s how:
    It adds organic matter to the ground underneath the tree, helps it conserve moisture, maintain it’s proper soil temperatures, plus it aids soil against erosion.
  • You can even make your own mulch from ground up leaves, straw, or even wood chips.
  • It is important to keep your mulch 2 – 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree. Failure to do this can result in the bark rotting around the bottom of the tree.
  • Otherwise make sure to add 1 – 2 inches of mulch around the tree, just remember to keep it back from the trunk.
  • You will preferably want to apply the mulch over old leaves and before the first freeze.

Reduce Water

Watering your plants are essential during the long hot summers, but with the arrival of fall, plants need less water as the soil will stay more moist naturally.

Naturally as trees drop their leaves and return to a dormant state they need less water. In addition when the temperatures cool, the soil will lose less water to direct evaporation. This all means that you will need to greatly reduce the watering of the plants. The soil should be cool and moist to the touch, but not flooded.

Keep it Clean

It’s important to clean up the debris of fallen leaves and trim branches in the correct way to keep your trees healthy.

Be sure to rake up the leaves once they fall from the tree. This will reduce the chances or mold development. Once raked up the leaves can be combined with organic matter from the ground and gutters and added to a compost bin. Be sure to flip the leaf pile at least once per month. The following year the compost can be used to provide your trees and shrubs with good organic matter.

Tree Trimming

Tree pruning should always been an annual practice. You will want to prune dead, diseased, or unsafe branches from the trees. This protects you, your home, and your property. It also helps to shape the structure of the tree.

  1. Tree lifeless branches to prevent them from succumbing to winter snow or winds.
  2. Be sure to get rid of cracked, loose, or diseased limbs close to the trunk without leaving a stub. Leave the wounds caused by trimming exposed so that they will heal.
  3. If tree branches are too big for you to handle, or too high, call Justin Dugan’s Tree Service. Our Tree Slayer© can reach any hard to reach spot with ease.

Being prepared for during the Fall can lead to a bright Spring

If you follow our checklist and properly prepare your trees for Winter, it’ll give them a good foundational base for them to be ready to grow and bloom next Spring. If you have any questions about proper care of your trees be sure to contact us. Our tree care professionals can answer any question you might have!