California-based tree service experts share tips for preparing trees for winter.
A Checklist for Autumn Tree Health
While many trees and plants flourish without any human intervention, most of the plants in our yards could use a bit of assistance. There are often cycles in nature that do not happen on regularly manicured landscaping. This means that your trees may need a little extra attention before winter rolls around. Fall is the time for tidying up, mulching, pruning, and for adding new trees to the garden.
Clean Up and Inspection
Raking leaves is a typical autumn chore, but did you know that it helps maintain the health of your trees? While decaying leaves can put nutrients back into the soil, they can also create the optimum environment for pests and fungi to attack the tree. Cleaning all this away along with old mulch allows the owner to inspect the tree’s roots to check for any infestation.
Speaking of inspection, with the leaves dropped from deciduous trees, now is an excellent time to examine branches for issues.
Here is a simple to-do list:
- Clean leaves and old mulch away from roots.
- Examine roots and branches for vulnerabilities, pests, and infections.
- Water the tree at its root bulb (do not water the leaves).
Mulching and Fertilizing
After clearing away the detritus from around the base of the tree, it is time to replace it with stuff that will be helpful to the tree instead of detrimental. This is the perfect moment to add fertilizer which will give the tree an extra boost of nutrients to fortify it when winter blows in. After fertilizing and watering, a new layer of mulch should be placed.
Mulch keeps in moisture and helps insulate the roots against extreme temperature change. Organic mulch also adds to the soil’s nutrients as it decomposes. Below are some tips for mulching:
- Placement: Mulch should not be placed against the trunk, as this can make the tree vulnerable to disease and pests. Mulch should be placed in a doughnut shape around the tree covering the main part of the roots. It should be spread fairly evenly throughout the area.
- Depth: Mulch should be no deeper than 2-4 inches. Any deeper and it can smother roots and create a hotbed for pests. Shallower mulch will not insulate the roots well and, therefore will be ineffective.
Trimming and Pruning
As with mulching, trimming and pruning can be done at any time of year, but there are times that prove to be better for the tree itself. Autumn is a great time for sprucing up your trees with a little cut off the top. First of all, let’s discuss the difference between trimming and pruning. Trimming is cutting back a tree for aesthetic or safety reasons, such as preventing limbs or leaves from falling on a roof.
Pruning is when a tree has branches cut for the health and growth of the tree. Both trimming and pruning is best done by a tree service company under the supervision of an arborist. This will ensure that limbs are removed in a safe way and in a way that is good for the tree.
About Ned Patchett Tree Care & Consulting
If you are looking for experts in tree removal as well as tree health and reside in San Carlos, CA and the surrounding areas, then look no further than Ned Patchett Tree Care & Consulting. We pride ourselves on integrity and customer service. Call us today for a consultation on tree health care or tree risk assessment.