We don’t quite have the full change of the season here in Arizona but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get your trees and shrubs in shape for the cooler months ahead. Here are some timely tips borrowed from Branch Management Tree Service.
Healthy Growth requires fertilization!
It is a good idea fertilize your trees after the 100+ degree days of summer have finally passed. Cooler temperatures are an opportune time to make sure your trees regain any nutrients they may have lost during the summer. Apply a slow-release fertilizer now to continue to feed during the cooler winter months. This will encourage healthy growth next spring.
Water Water Water!
Just because it’s cooler in the fall and winter doesn’t mean your tree isn’t thirsty! Monthly watering during the winter can be a lifesaver – especially for young trees. If you are in an area that the ground freezes, wait until the ground is thawed to water. .
Fall is the perfect time to plant new trees. The combination of warm soil and cool air in the fall enables the establishment of strong root systems. September through late October are ideal for planting. When planting in the fall, select balled-and-burlapped or container-grown plants rather than bare-rooted plants, which should only be planted in early spring.
2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch added around trees once in the fall and again in the spring will help in a variety of ways! Use it on the shrubs too! This will protect roots from frost and retain some moisture during dry winter days. Another benefit of mulch is the suppression of weed growth. Mulch break down over time increases the soil’s structure and fertility. Shredded hardwood, organic compost, and cocoa mulch are all good choices.
Cable, brace, and prune your trees to minimize stress and ensure the healthy growth. This is especially important for young or weakened trees. One of the benefits of pruning in the fall is that most trees lose their leaves during this time, exposing the structure underneath.