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Top 5 Things to Do to Your Trees Before Autumn

As the vibrant colours of summer begin to fade, and the crispness of autumn fills the air, it’s time to prepare your trees for the changing season. Proper tree care in the late summer and early fall can help your trees thrive during the colder months and ensure their health and beauty in the seasons to come. Here are the top five things you should do for your trees before autumn arrives:

  1. Inspect Your Trees: Begin your tree care routine by thoroughly inspecting your trees. Look for signs of disease, pest infestations, or damage. Check for any dead or dying branches that could pose a hazard during autumn storms. Prune away deadwood and diseased branches to promote healthy growth and reduce the risk of disease spread. Early detection and action can save your trees from more significant problems down the road.
  2. Mulch and Fertilize: Trees benefit from a nutrient boost before the cold sets in. Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of your trees, extending it to the drip line (the outermost reaches of the tree’s canopy). Mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulates soil temperature, and adds essential nutrients as it breaks down. Additionally, consider fertilising your trees with a balanced, slow-release fertiliser to ensure they have the necessary nutrients for winter dormancy and vigorous spring growth.
  3. Hydrate Adequately: Proper watering is crucial for your trees’ well-being in the lead-up to autumn. As temperatures cool, it’s easy to forget that trees still need moisture to thrive. Adequate hydration helps trees prepare for winter and reduces the risk of winter desiccation (drying out). Water deeply and infrequently, providing about 1 inch of water per week. Be mindful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot in poorly drained soils.
  4. Protect Against Pests: Autumn is a prime time for certain tree pests to become active and lay eggs. Inspect your trees for signs of infestation, such as discoloured leaves or visible pests. Applying dormant oil sprays to your trees before autumn can help smother overwintering insect eggs and prevent infestations in the spring. Consult with a local arborist or garden centre for advice on the best pest control measures for your area.
  5. Plan for Leaf Cleanup: While autumn leaves are beautiful, they can also pose challenges for your trees. A thick layer of fallen leaves can smother grass and deprive your trees of essential light and air circulation. Plan for regular leaf cleanup by raking or using a leaf blower. You can compost the collected leaves to create nutrient-rich mulch for your garden or dispose of them in accordance with your local regulations.

In conclusion, taking proactive steps to care for your trees before autumn sets in can make a significant difference in their health and appearance. Regular inspections, proper mulching and fertilising, adequate hydration, pest prevention, and leaf cleanup are all essential components of pre-autumn tree care. By investing time and effort into these tasks, you can ensure that your trees not only survive the challenges of autumn and winter but also thrive and grace your landscape with their beauty for years to come. So, get out in your garden, show your trees some love, and enjoy the vibrant transition into the enchanting season of autumn.

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