Fall Tree Care & Maintenance Tips

Why is fall tree care important?

Extended periods of extreme heat can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to infestations. Helping your trees begin to recover from the hot conditions as they head into winter is important to protecting their long-term health, which also makes them less susceptible to storms. Unless your trees received adequate water during the summer months, they may be more susceptible to pests and disease and more vulnerable to harsh winter conditions.

I watered my trees and shrubs during summer, is there anything else that needs to be done now?

Even though you watered, your trees may still be lacking moisture. If so, a watering program can help. Mulching, fertilizing and other soil care activities can help create the optimal growing condition for your trees, and pruning any dead wood now can help prevent storm damage in winter. Now would also be a good time to cable and brace your trees that may have weak spots.

Why is soil care important?

Most tree problems begin with poor soils, whether from lack of nutrients or other necessary soil components, soil compaction, or amount of acidity, among other factors. Improving your trees’ soils will help create conditions that are more like those of the forest floor, enabling tree roots to function at their best. When a landscape tree is growing in soil that is well-suited to its needs, it is fortified against pests, disease and environmental stresses. Learm more about SoilCareSM.

How does pruning help the trees get ready for winter?

Although trees are great additions to your landscape, trees with problems can be liabilities during storms or extreme weather. Late fall is an excellent time to for The Care of Trees to help you prepare your trees and shrubs for winter. Pruning in fall can help protect trees from harsh winter storms so they bloom as vibrant as possible come spring. Once the leaves have fallen and a tree’s branch structure is more visible, the spread of certain disease pathogens or insect infestations is less likely.

For more information on tree pruning, watch our brief informational video.

What is the soil food web?

The soil food web is made up of the soil’s organic matter including bacteria, fungi, microscopic insects, mites, animals and tiny worms. Research has found that trees prefer soils that are rich in fungi, as well as other components of the soil food web. But most landscape trees grow in soils that are high in bacteria. The Care of Trees can treat your trees’ soils to provide more fungi—and a more desirable growing environment.

What else should I do for my trees in the fall?

  • Now is a great time to plant new trees and shrubs. Planting trees and shrubs in early fall gives plants a head start at establishing roots in the season’s cool, moist soil.

  • Do you know if your tree needs to be removed? Hire a professionally trained arborist to determine if your trees are at critical risk and susceptible to more damage during severe weather. If your trees are at critical risk, schedule removals.

  • Mulch young trees and plants. High-quality, organic mulch helps keep organic matter in the soil around the tree, conserve soil moisture and provide weed control.

  • Inspect trees and shrubs for insects and diseases and treat appropriately. Be on the lookout for emerald ash borer, scale, mites, lace bugs or beetles.

For four essential tips on treating your trees this fall, download the fall checklist. 


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