Winterize Your Trees: Preparing Trees for Winter
Written by: By: Tony Arnoldi, Board Certified Master Arborist
As fall approaches, many look to improve the appearance and durability of their lawn. A tried and true way to help do this is by applying a winterizer product that builds strong roots in advance of oncoming winter stresses so that the lawn will recover quickly in spring.
The concept is a good one to consider for trees as well. The stresses of the year have accumulated and many trees have responded in various ways to let us know that their health or energy reserves have been compromised. Winter itself is a main stressor and is coming up all too shortly to add to the burden.
Here are some examples of trees showing stress:
- Silver maples and other trees that had a thinner than normal canopy and/or delayed leaf-out due to damage by root rot fungi or polar vortex damage.
- Early fall colors and early leaf fall – birch, lindens, maples, beech, honeylocusts, Katsura trees and others reacting to girdling roots, water stress and diminished root systems.
- Excessive seasonal needle-drop of evergreens.
- Chlorosis (yellowing foliage) – is deepened by these stresses. This is a response to root damage or loss, or loss of root function and is a failure to produce chlorophyll. Micro-nutrient deficiencies are usually involved.
- Leaves dropping due to fungal leaf spots – Apple Scab, Rusts, Anthracnoses, Leaf Blotch, Tar Spot and others steal energy from the tree by parasitizing the leaves and shortening the time that the leaves are able to make food for the tree.
- Dieback and deadwood accumulation. This is an advanced stage of damage from stress.
Fall is a major window of opportunity to be able to compensate for these stresses. It is a time when root activity and growth has a natural peak. Certain tree treatments can help the trees add back to their root systems and when they are able to do this, gains can be made in the foliage next spring. But it must be root growth first to be able to support the new leaves and branches when they appear.
This is a time to take advantage of tree treatments that can help facilitate these gains to/from the root systems:
- Fall Fertilization with Root Biostimulants
- Biopack with Micronutrients
- Root Biostimulants with Biological Fungicide
- Soil injected Iron or Manganese (to help chlorosis)
- Addition of Mycorrhizae to root systems
- Compost Tea to build beneficial soil life that is essential to roots
These can help the trees repair and replace lost roots and best prepare them for winter. Then they can be on the road to being healthy and beautiful again. If your trees are already on a program for these fall services, good. Watering during dry periods remains to be done to help enable the roots to function well and make their gains. If these treatments were recommended but were not yet ordered, you may be receiving a Fall Prescription Letter to remind about their need. Contact your Wachtel Certified Arborist to help you manage your fall services to best serve your trees needs.