The first official day of fall is coming up! In our last blog, we talked about how to prepare your North Texas lawn for the upcoming fall and winter weather. This week we’ll shift our attention to trees.
It’s easy just to assume they will take care of themselves, but it’s just as important to prepare these gentle giants for winter as it is your lawn so don’t make the mistake of overlooking their care.
Beautiful old growth trees are one of the things that make North Texas neighborhoods so attractive. And even though our Texas winters aren’t as harsh as those up north, we still need to prepare our yard for those legendary North Texas ice and hail storms.
The other factor in long-term tree health that may not have been on your radar until now is the fact that the extended heat of our long Texas summers can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to infestations.
Here are some actions you can take now to keep your trees happy and healthy throughout the winter so you can enjoy a lush canopy next spring.
If Your Trees Didn’t Get Enough Water This Summer
It’s never too late to use a deep soaker hose or drip irrigation system in your yard and around your trees, so water gets all the way down to the root systems of your trees.
Also note that the mulching, fertilizing and other soil activities that you perform on your yard to get it ready for the fall can serve a dual purpose as these activities will help your trees replenish some moisture.
If you know you didn’t water your trees enough during most of the summer, you should call a professional tree care service to come in and perform some basic tree triage. Getting help from professionals will ensure that your trees don’t suffer during the winter.
Deeply Hydrate Before the Freeze
If you know that your trees have had plenty of water to drink over the summer, it’s still important to make sure they are well hydrated before the freezing weather kicks in.
To make sure your trees are well-hydrated throughout the freezing winter, quench your trees’ roots by practicing subsurface watering.
This is an efficient way to reach the tree’s roots by using an injection probe to distribute water throughout the top 12 inches of soil. This 12-inch stretch is the area your trees need water the most.
Subsurface watering is an ideal watering method for trees and shrubs if you don’t have an irrigation system or have newly planted trees or trees that need temporary relief from drought stress.
Prune Dead Wood Now to Avoid Property Damage and Disease Later
Avoid problems during the cold months of winter by pruning deadwood on your trees in the fall. During storms, deadwood can come loose and cause property damage.
Deadwood can include branches, patches of bark, or even entire trees. If you know a tree is dead or has lost its root system, it’s better to have the tree removed now than to wait until a big storm brings it down on your fence or house.
Pruning dead wood will also help prevent disease. After the tree has lost its leaves, it becomes more vulnerable to certain diseases or insect infestations.
Give Weak Branches Your Support
If your tree is weak or has broken or rotting branches, it may not be strong enough to withstand the added weight of a heavy snowfall or ice storm. You can give it the support it needs by cabling and bracing any weak branches before the snow and ice hit.
Don’t wait until you have a problem on your hands. Take care of it while the temperatures are still mild.
Fall is the Perfect Time to Plant
Typically autumn is the best time to plant new trees. Since temperatures are cooler in the fall, new trees aren’t as likely to be burned by high temperatures or damaged by drought.
Trees planted in the fall have a better chance to grow a root system and prepare themselves for a dormant winter. This means that they are in a better position to grow healthy and strong in the spring.
Fertilizing in Fall is a Must
The extremes of Texas temperatures cause trees to lose vital nutrients in the soil. To ensure your trees replenish the nutrients lost over the summer and continue to be fed over the winter, apply a slow-release fertilizer.
This will not only replace nutrients but will also improve resistance to damage from disease, insects, and stressful weather.
Give Them a Good Mulching
If you want to help the soil around your trees, retain water as well as provide them with additional nutrients is to mulch them properly. Make sure not to mulch too high or right up against the trunk as this can deprive the tree of much-needed oxygen and cause trunk decay.
Trees serve several practical purposes like keeping erosion at bay and providing structure to your landscape design, but they are also key factors in the enjoyment of life. They provide a nice shady area for picnics, for naps in the hammock and for kids to play under the sprinklers.
We hope these tips allow you to make your way into winter feeling safe and secure that you’ve done all you can to ensure that your trees are safe and secure. We know, though, that not everyone is equipped to take care of these tall giants.
That’s why Complete Landsculpture has put together a complete team of specialists who can help you with all of your landscaping, lawn, and tree needs. Our specialists are highly educated in their field and trained in their specialties.
We love our North Texas trees! And we work hard to keep our clients’ neighborhoods lush and green. Let us help you with yours by setting up a consultation today!