Trees add an element of beauty to a yard, but if you want them to stay looking beautiful, you must care for them properly. Most tree care tasks, including heavy pruning and fertilization, are best done in the spring and summer. However, there are a few things you'll want to do in the fall to care for your trees.
Lightly prune away obviously dead and damaged branches.
You want to avoid removing large numbers of tree branches in the fall, since this could inhibit the tree's ability to thrive through the winter. However, you do want to have a quick pruning session in which you remove any dead and damaged branches. It's easiest to tell which branches are dead and damaged when there are still a few leaves on the tree – the branches with no leaves, or leaves that are overly spotted and fuzzy – are infected with fungus and should be removed ASAP so they don't continue to tax the tree's resources throughout the winter.
Make sure you cut away the dead and diseased branches as close to the trunk as possible. Do not prune away any healthy branches or attempt to shape the tree at this point – leave this task until the spring. If you prefer, you can contact a tree service to prune your tree for you.
Clean up fallen leaves and dropped fruits.
You probably already rake your lawn to keep it looking neat and tidy, but did you know this piece of maintenance is important for your tree's health? Infectious fungi can breed in fallen leaves over the winter, and then infect your tree come spring. Make sure you're vigilant about cleaning up all fallen leaves and fruits before the first winter snowfall.
Water your trees.
If you're getting plenty of rain, you can skip this step. However, if you're having a dry fall, it's good to water your trees a few times. This way, they will have plenty of water stored up when winter hits, and they'll have an easier time surviving the cold temperatures. Remember that when watering a tree, you don't want to put the water directly at the trunk's base. You want to put it a few feet out at the base, so the roots in these areas can absorb it. To water your tree, just put a hose on the ground a few feet from the trunk, and let it run for an hour or so.
By cleaning up leaves and fruits, watering your tree, and pruning away only dead branches, you can prepare your tree for the winter ahead and ensure it stays beautiful.
Trimming trees didn't sound hard, which is why I decided to try it on my own. After finding a ladder and renting a pair of pruning shears, I started working on my own yard. Unfortunately, about an hour later, I could tell that I had caused some damage. Some of the trees looked absolutely botched, which made me worry about things like disease and fungal infections. I realized that I needed to work with a real professional and learn a little more about tree service. This blog is all about how to avoid tree trimming mistakes, which is information I could have used a few months ago.