Georgia-based tree service professionals share a checklist for fall tree care.

Simple Tasks That Will Make Your Yard More Beautiful Come Spring

A good gardener knows that when the trees and plants start winding down their growth, it is actually time to be busy in the garden. Fall is the time to be preparing for winter and preparing trees can be a big task. Because trees often do well without much human intervention it may seem like a waste of time to do any sort of cleaning, fertilizing, or mulching, but the result of your work will become obvious in the radiant health your trees show when they come to life in the springtime. 

Clean Up: Cleaning and Cutting

Cleaning up yard waste is perhaps the most common chore of the season, whether it is raking leaves or cleaning up fallen branches. The task is incredibly important for the health of all the trees and garden plants in a yard because decaying organic matter attracts many different kinds of pests and fungal spores grow well in the decomposing plant matter. 

Tree disease and pest infestation are more likely to become an issue if the dead leaves and branches are not removed. Tree pruning and trimming are also essential parts of this fall cleaning. Pruning removes overgrowth and dead limbs to promote tree health and healthy growth. Tree trimming removes limbs for aesthetic purposes or for safety purposes that may be unrelated to the health of the tree. 

For example, limbs that are near power lines or rooftops may need to be trimmed to prevent damage.

Below is a list of tasks for autumn tree care and cleaning:

  • Rake the leaves away from the roots of the tree
  • Remove dead, broken limbs
  • Remove old mulch that may be breeding tree disease
  • Trim excess growth
  • Prune the tree as necessary
  • Calling an arborist to assist is always a good choice

Fertilizer and Mulch

After cleaning the yard waste from around the tree, the next steps are to water and add fertilizer and mulch. Though these are fairly straightforward tasks, there are correct and incorrect ways of doing them. For those who are inexperienced, this next section will review the best practices for watering, fertilizing, and mulching trees.

  • Watering: Trees tend to need less water in the fall and winter because the moisture they receive is less likely to evaporate due to the sun and heat. Watering a tree should only be done around the roots as water(say from a sprinkler) on the leaves can actually promote disease.
  • Fertilizer:  A great way to fortify your plants and trees for winter is using fertilizer. Fertilizer should be used as directed on the package and should be used on established trees because fertilizer can damage the roots of trees in the first year or two of growth.
  • Mulch: Whether a person is using organic or inorganic mulch, both are used as a way to insulate the tree’s roots against moisture loss and temperature extremes. Inorganic mulch can also be used to prevent weed growth. Mulch should never be piled against a tree’s trunk but should form a circle around the root bulb, like a doughnut. Mulch should be between 2 and 4 inches in depth.

Planting New Trees

Fall is also a great time to add more trees to the landscape. This allows trees to get established in the soil before a period of heavy growth. Consulting a tree service company with a certified arborist can be helpful when trying to decide what to plant and whether or not tree removal is in the future for any of your landscape trees. A tree risk assessment can be valuable in protecting the health and well-being of the tree and household members alike. 

About Boutte Tree, Inc.

Locally owned and with nearly 20 years of experience under our belts, Boutte Tree, Inc is ready to assist the inhabitants of Atlanta, GA and the surrounding areas with all their arboricultural needs. Our highly trained and respectful team will be there for you whether we are planting trees or removing them. Call today for more information about our residential and commercial services.