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Tree Blog

Autumn leaves falling on the ground in a park

Caring for Your Trees in the Fall

In Lafayette, IN, fall is the time when your trees prepare to sleep for the winter. Some of them, such as maples and oaks, put on a dazzling display of color before their leaves drop. Others, such as your cedars, stay green all through the winter. Still, there are some things you can do besides the general fall cleanup to make sure that your trees stay healthy even as they slumber through the cold weather.

Add Mulch

Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil and adds nutrients as it breaks down. It can be made of the fallen, disease-free leaves of the tree, straw, or wood chips. Arborists recommend adding about one or two inches of mulch around the tree to the drip line, but you should be careful not to let the mulch touch the crown where the root meets the trunk. Make sure there are at least two or three inches clear between the mulch and the trunk.

Fertilize a Bit

It’s a good idea to give to your trees a slow-release fertilizer in the fall. As the name implies, it won’t add nutrients all at once. This allows the tree to take up nutrients gradually, as it would do in the wild.

Don’t Prune

You may be tempted to prune your trees when all the leaves have fallen, but hold off on pruning until at least late winter. Pruning and trimming actually stimulate your trees to grow. The tree will start growing only to have that new growth be killed by the harsh winter weather. This can lead to weakening the entire tree. The only reason to prune a tree in the fall is to remove dead or diseased branches, for these weakened branches can crack or be snapped off under the weight of snow and the pressure of wind.

Brace Weak Branches

On the other hand, if your tree has branches that are weak but otherwise healthy, they can be cabled or braced to support them against the winter weather.

Don’t Water as Often

Give your trees a good drink of water before it gets really cold and then lay off a bit. Watering a tree as much as it was watered during the growing season may flood the soil. Flooded soil overwhelms the roots and can cause them to rot and spread disease. The soil is fine if it feels cool and a little moist over the winter.

Rely on Our Tree Specialists for Information

Our experienced and skilled arborists are proud to serve Lafayette and the surrounding communities. Besides giving our customers pointers on tree care, we also provide services such as tree removal, pruning and trimming, storm preparation, cleanup, and emergency services. Our clients include both commercial and residential customers. If you need advice on fall tree care, call us at Lafayette Huesca Tree Services today.

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