Fall Tree Care Works
Written by: Jean Ferdinandsen, Certified Arborist WI-1049A
Tree care and plant health care treatments are not just for spring and the growing season. Many things can be done in the fall to maintain and improve the health of your tress.
Start out with the basics. Water deciduous trees if rain is inadequate (less than 1”/week) until trees begin to show fall color or signs of dormancy. Continue to water evergreens up until the ground freezes. Organic mulch (wood chips, bark) will help retain moisture, moderate temperatures and improve the soil. Inspect trees for signs of insect or disease issues as well as for pruning needs.
Nutrients applied in the fall can be taken up and stored within the tree to replenish those lost during the growing season and be readily available for new growth in the spring. Slow release fertilizer and micro-nutrients are used to correct deficiencies, improve growth and health, and increase carbohydrate storage.
Root stimulants, mycorrhizae and compost teas may be recommended to improve not only root growth and uptake, but also overall soil health and biodiversity.
Systemic insecticides can be applied in fall for various insect issues. These include birch leaf miner, bronze birch borer, ash plant bug, leaf hoppers, spruce gall adelgids and two-lined chestnut borer. The products are taken up and stored in the tree. This makes them available when needed and also reduces exposure to people, pets and the environment. In areas with perennials, flowers or groundcover, fall applications help avoid disturbance to those portions of your landscape.
Trunk injections of iron (ferric ammonium citrate, or FAC) or other micronutrients to correct chlorosis (nutrient deficiencies exhibited by pale colored leaves) can only be done in fall. This treatment is most frequently done for white oaks. Done at this time of year, it is one of the most effective and fast acting treatments. Results are evident the next growing season
So fall is an excellent time for certain tree care applications and treatments. Your certified arborist can help make recommendations for your trees. Call Wachtel Tree Science today.