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Fall Care Tips For Preparing Your Trees For Winter

by Zack Gilbert

As fall quickly approaches, you may start turning your attention towards preparing your yard for the upcoming cold weather months. As part of your plans, you also want to make sure you tend to your trees. Use the following tips in the fall to help prepare your trees for the winter.

Prune Damaged or Dead Branches

As the leaves start falling off your trees, this is the ideal time to prune away any damaged or dead branches. Since the trees are slowing down before going dormant for the winter, you do not have to worry about impeding their growth as you would if you pruned in the spring.

Far from impeding your trees' growth, pruning in the fall actually helps them grow. If damaged branches are left on the trees, it must continue to provide nutrients and water to them. This can cause stress on the trees. However, cutting off the offending branches relieves this stress and makes way for healthy new growth in the springtime.

Feed Your Trees a Slow-Release Fertilizer

After you have pruned your trees, the next thing you should do is feed them. While they may look dead while they stand dormant through the winter months, they are still very much alive. And, they still need nourishment.

To feed your trees through the winter, apply a thin layer of slow-release fertilizer around the bases of your trees. As rain falls and snow melts, the moisture will carry the nutrients to the trees' root systems.

Spread Mulch Around the Bases of the Trunks

Once you have fed your trees, you want to take measures to protect their roots and prevent against dehydration during the dry, cold months. This can be achieved by spreading a thick layer of mulch around the bases of the trees' trunks.

The mulch you spread allows moisture to seep into the soil while keeping the dirt moist when the air gets dry. It also provides a blanket that helps keep the root system warm when the temperatures drop below freezing.

When deciding on your mulch, choose one that is made out of tree bark. While the bark mulch breaks down slowly over the winter months, the nutrients it contains will help give your trees additional nutrition.

Using the above tips can help prepare your trees for winter before the cold weather sets in. For more information about how to care for specific species, contact companies like Mark Crane's Tree & Arborist Services.