For many people, fall is their favorite time of year, especially because of their trees. With the change in colors and leaves falling, it helps you prepare for the cool crisp air that’s going to flow into the area in the coming months.
Now, when it comes to fall tree care, there are a number of common questions that arise when it comes to your trees and properly maintaining them. Here’s a look at some common questions our tree experts often receive.
1. When do leaves fall?
First, early leaf falling could be a sign of a problem. When should they be falling? October is generally the time when this happens, and if it’s before that, you might want to get your trees checked.
What is causing this early leaf fall? Some trees simply have a crowded canopy and grow more leaves than they can support. If this is what’s happening, a weekly dose of water will be plenty of medicine for your tree. Pests or disease can also make their way into your tree and yellow leaves can be a sign of that. Look for wilting or drooping to be a sign of disease as well. In this case, it would be advisable to have a tree care specialist come and take a look just to be safe. The third factor is water. Sometimes, people are not watering enough or watering too much. Too much water suffocates the roots, which causes canopy stress.
2. How do I know if my maple tree is healthy?
Second, there are often questions regarding maple trees in particular. If you spot branches dying on your tree, small leaves or early fall color, you may be concerned about the status and health of your tree. Odds are your tree is just in a stressful situation, but when in doubt, check it out.
Unlike many problems a tree can face, it’s important to remember that maple decline is not a tree disease or pest. It happens when trees live in an urban area instead of a forest. Trees often lack resources in urban areas that are available to them in the forest, like food and water. When this happens, you need to make sure you provide your tree with the essentials or else it will decline and not recover.
3. Is my evergreen tree dying?
The next concern lies with evergreen trees and people often ask what to do if their tree is dying from the bottom up. To learn the solution, you must first know the root of your problem. That’s where the experts come in. Under drought-like conditions, your issue is simply that your tree is not getting enough water. In this case, bottom needles die to hydrate the rest of the tree.
However, there’s also those pain in the neck pests and diseases that could be affecting your tree. Pine beetles attack trees from the inside out while the cytospora canker disease leaves bulges on branches as it seeps sap from the trunk. It could also be a case of nature as evergreens naturally wean out older needles as part of their growing cycle. Call in a tree care expert if you’re really concerned and you’re sure to get to the root of the problem.
4. Is my soil too compacted?
Another common question that tree care experts get is how you can tell if the soil around your trees is compacted? First, it’s important to understand that, as you walk or have the equipment, like lawn mowers, work near your trees, the weight packs soil particles together, which compacts your trees soil. In turn, it becomes difficult for water to flow through the tree’s roots, which leads to runoff and dehydration. It’s also hard for roots to get enough nutrients, which leads to slower growth. Due to the lack of water and limited air flow, the tree could struggle to thrive. There are ways to restore compacted soil, but it’s best to consult a tree care specialist before you move forward. Do some research yourself too so you are prepared to ask the proper questions.
5. When is the best time to plant new trees?
In general, the best time of year to plant trees is in the fall. The best time ranges anywhere from mid-August to mid-October. Obviously, you need to take into account how it feels outside before you plant your trees. If the blistering heat of summer is gone and the ground isn’t frozen yet, you should be good to go ahead and plant. The reason fall is ideal for planting is that there’s less chance of a drought or sun-scorch to impact newly planted and fragile trees. Cooler temperatures also help with new root growth, so that’s why fall is ideal as well.
There are trees that fall is not ideal for, so you want to speak to an expert if you’re unsure. Maple trees should be planted in the fall, while Birch and Dogwood need more time to establish, making spring more appropriate. Pine trees or evergreens can be planted in either fall or spring. Suggested planting for fruit trees depends on the weather in your local area. If you experience harsh winters, spring planting is recommended. Mild or warm winters would call for fall planting.
At the end of the day, you have to be diligent when it comes to caring for your trees. That means you need to ensure they have the proper nutrients necessary to not only survive but thrive. If you become lazy and slack on your responsibilities in regards to the trees, then it’s the trees that will suffer and ultimately need to be replaced. Trees also have issues that aren’t man-made, and those issues, as mentioned above, can often be alleviated with various remedies. We can’t say it enough, but call a tree care expert, like us at Mr. Tree, if you’re unsure, or you might be footing a heavy bill soon to replace a tree that could have been saved. You need to put in the time, effort, and sometimes money to ensure your trees live a long and fruitful life.