Autumn is the best time to prepare your trees and garden for the spring growing season. It is well known that prepping trees and your lawn for the colder winter months ahead will surely pay off in the spring and summer. If you aren’t quite sure of how to prepare for winter snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, here are some handy fall tree care tips and a fall lawn care to guide you.
Fall Tree Care and Yard Maintenance Guide
Fall Tree Care
How do I know if my tree is still alive?
To check if a sad-looking shrub or tree is still alive, scratch the bark at the base of the trunk. If there is no green under the bark, then it may be dying if not already dead. Do you have a tree or shrub that is dead? If so, the early fall is the best time to dig it out before the ground becomes too hard.
Prepare Trees For Colder Weather
If there is green under the bark, prune the tree and wrap it when the weather turns colder to protect it from frost. It is important that you water both young trees and mature trees during this time of year. This will allow the tree’s root systems to expand and reach water sources deeper in the ground. Newly planted trees and plants will continue to experience root growth in the fall.
Prune trees once the leaves have fallen off. Typically leaves will fall around late fall, which is the start of the dormant season. Place mulch around the base for a radius of around two feet, however, not up against the base.
Fall Lawn Care
The following fall lawn maintenance tips will keep your yard healthy throughout the cold winter months.
Mowing and Watering
Keep on mowing and watering the lawn. When the temperature starts to drop, it is a good time to lower the mower blades to their lowest setting for the last two mows of the season. By mowing low, the light will be able to reach the crown of the grass which enables the soil to dry out quicker come spring.
Aerate and Fertilize
After mowing, aerate the lawn to remove thatch and counteract soil compaction. This will help air and water to get to the roots. It is a great time to aerate during the fall growing period as this will remove soil plugs and allow the grass to grow and reach open areas.
Aerating your lawn will also help new grass seeds to grow while the ground is still a little warm. Over-sow seeds in bald patches and water these areas well. Fall is also the best time to apply fertilizer which will help the lawn recover from the summer heat.
What should you do with fallen leaves?
Remove any debris from the lawn. Fallen leaves can smother the grass, blocking the light, and preventing the lawn from growing. Removing dead leaves and other organic debris such as weeds will also protect your yard from becoming a nesting ground for mice, rats, and hedgehogs. Debris, if left unattended, can also block drains which can cause water to pool around the foundation of your home when the snow melts.
Leaves make good, natural fertilizer for lawns and flower beds. Instead of raking them up, mow over them when they are still dry. The bits will embed themselves into the grass and decompose naturally.
If you want to get rid of the leaves on the lawn, rake them onto a tarpaulin. This will make it easier to carry them to the compost heap or the curb.
Salvage Dead Trees and Branches
Salvage whatever can be salvaged from dead trees, fallen branches, pruning, and dug-up tree stumps. Chances are the wood is quite dry and will make for good kindling and firewood. Who doesn’t love a good fall bonfire?
As for the debris from the flower beds, head off to the compost heap with it, so that it can recycle itself.
How you take care of your trees and lawn in the fall months will be reflected when spring and summer arrive. Diligent fall tree care and fall lawn care will only deliver dividends in the spring. If done properly your fall lawn and tree care efforts will pay out handsomely with a beautiful landscape.
Additional Reading: Why It’s Great to Plant Trees in the Fall
Omaha Tree Services
At Omaha Tree, our mission is to provide tree care services & mulch products that improve the HEALTH, BEAUTY, & SAFETY of our customers’ trees. We recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre site at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact a certified arborist today.