It’s November, the pool is closed; temperatures are dropping (although slowly, for us); daylight is dwindling. We’ve turned the water off to the outside spigot, brought in the lawn/deck furniture and put away the grill. During this time of “hunkering down” for a New England winter, please don’t forget your trees in the process. Believe it or not, there is much more to do in your yard than just raking leaves!
On behalf of all of the trees that ArborTech has taken care of, for our customers this year, I’d like to advocate for a final step in the process of preserving and maintaining them throughout the winter. Some of these recommendations you can do yourself, others should be addressed by one of ArborTech’s Certified Arborists.
Newly Planted Trees
It takes a season or two for young trees to get established in the landscape. You can’t just plant a tree and walk away expecting it to thrive on its own.
What can you do? Water your new trees once or twice before the ground freezes. A slow drip/deep soak is the best method. Make sure there is mulch around the tree, but not too much! Ask us, please, if you’re not sure.
What can ArborTech do? If you’re unsure about the mulch or have any other concerns regarding your young tree(s), give us a call, we’d be happy to stop by and take a look.
Trees that were treated for insect and/or disease issues
Sanitation is key in any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This can be handled by homeowner and Arborist alike.
What can you do? Remove all of the fallen leaves and debris at the base of trees, particularly smaller ornamentals and fruit trees. Fungal spores can overwinter in the “leaf litter” providing a large amount of inoculums available to infect the plant in the spring.
What can ArborTech do? We can put together a Plant Health Care (PHC) program for your property, complete with recommendations to keep your landscape looking its best. Leave it to the professionals to know when and how to minimize insect and disease issues.
Trees that had root collar excavation
A great deal of decline, if not most of the decline in landscape trees, is due to improper planting, buried root flares and/or stem girdling roots and over-mulching. Root Collar Inspections allow an accurate assessment of whether the tree can be saved or not.
What can you do? If we pulled soil away from the base of the tree, leave it as we left it. Do not put mulch or soil back into the area we excavated. It’s tempting, I know, but resist!
What can ArborTech do? We can visit next year to assess and monitor the response and recommend a plan for continued health. Root collar work is often a multi-step process because, typically, the constricting roots cannot be removed all at once. When you consider the cost of replanting a similar size tree, you’ll see why root collar work is definitely the way to go.
What else will benefit my trees this winter?
Fertilizing – Fall is an ideal time to fertilize. The right formulation will encourage strong root development. Taking care of roots in the fall contributes to a healthy start to the growing season next spring. ArborTech offers a very effective soil management application that can be applied any time before the ground freezes. It’s not too late to feed your trees for next year, so give us a call!
Loosening compacted soil – Improve compacted soils or those damaged by recent construction. Now is a great time of year to remedy trees that have been damaged or stressed by nearby construction. Using an Air Spade allows us to perform quick and thorough root collar inspections as well as implement a comprehensive Root Invigoration Program. If there’s a tree you’re worried about, or that you know was impacted by recent construction, please call ArborTech and we will be happy to assess the tree and provide recommendations and treatment.
Pruning – Get your trees and shrubs ready for winter by doing some preventative maintenance pruning. Removing the deadwood, diseased branches and hazardous limbs will minimize the risk of winter storm damage – at least predictable storm damage.
Cabling – Some trees and shrubs, especially multi-stemmed varieties such as Arborvitae, can benefit from being lightly cabled together to help reduce snow damage. Unfortunately, Arborvitaes are destined to collect snow and ice and split apart in more places than one. It is wise to hire a professional Arborist to install the cables, not only for proper installation but also for critical follow up care, that homeowners often forget about.
You’ve cared for your trees and shrubs all year long, don’t quit before the work is done!
Call ArborTech today…..Your Trees Will Thank You!