Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Southeastern Michigan. Best of all, it is a season where your actions in caring for trees and shrubs will have a significant impact the following spring and summer. As temperatures cool and daylight grows shorter, fall tree care should be at the top of your outdoor “to do” list.
The fact is that in Michigan, fall can be the best time of the year to plant trees and shrubs. Adding trees and shrubs can not only increase curb appeal, but add privacy, reduce noise, and aid in providing shade during sizzling summer days.
Since the fall comes with cooler temperatures and regular precipitation, little watering is needed as part of your fall tree care. As a result, planting trees and shrubs in the fall can be extremely effective. For example, if your fall shrub care involves planting a 5-gallon shrub before winter, homeowners can expect a burst of springtime growth because its roots have had the winter to quietly grow underground.
However, if you wait until spring to plant, you must purchase a larger, more expensive shrub to match the same springtime size your 5-gallon plant achieves by being planted in the fall.
Besides planting, your fall tree and shrub activities should include:
Fall Soil Care
Perhaps no other tree care tip is more important than creating an environment of healthy soil to support growth needs. To ensure trees receive nutrients that are lost in the wintry weather months, apply a slow-release fertilizer in fall. These slow-release fertilizers steadily provide nutrients to your tree. Having consistent access to nutrients helps trees to grow new leaves, roots and wood as the seasons progress.
In addition to fall fertilization, you should also freshen up the mulch. Spring is not the only time to place new mulch. High-quality, organic mulch can help trees thrive by conserving soil moisture, maintaining soil temperatures, and supporting resilience against erosion and compaction. Organic mulch includes ground-up leaves, weed-free straw, and wood chips.
Fall tree care should include covering the ground around the base of the tree with 1 to 2 inches of new shredded hardwood and leaf mulch each fall. Keep the mulch 2 to 3 inches away from the trunk or you risk rotting the bark around the trunk.
You can also reduce irrigation around trees or shrubs in the fall since the ground stays moist.
Fall Cleanup in Michigan
Core clean-up activities for fall tree care include:
Removing leaf piles from beds and turf to help avoid snow mold.
Compost where possible – add leaf matter from the ground and from gutters, as well as lawn clippings, to a compost bin and flip the leaf pile every month with a garden fork to aerate it.
Tree trimming – be sure to research the most effective ways to trim based on your type of tree. A fall tree service can help as well. One step you will want to take is trimming dead branches because they will likely fall during the winter.
Your cleanup activities can also include tree care for fruit trees. Ensure your fruit trees have plenty of water well into mid-October. You do not want to fertilize your fruit trees this time of the year, but you do want to rake and remove fallen leaves as part of your fall tree care for fruit trees. Pick up any fallen fruit. Finally, remember you will not want to prune your fruit tree until the spring.
Preparation for Winter
Preparing your trees for the coming snow, frost, ice, and cold temperatures will help maintain their health next spring. One way to help your trees prepare for the winter is to support weak limbs with a cable or brace. This technique can support poor or weak branches, reducing strain and stress from high winds or ice buildup. An experienced tree care service provider can help as needed.
Another suggestion is to give special attention preparing your evergreens for the chilly weather months. Evergreens can lose needles while their roots are frozen. Create enough of a water supply by watering your evergreens frequently in the fall to keep the surrounding soil moist but not saturated.
These fall tree care tips can help ensure the health and well-being of your trees and shrubs in the months ahead.
You can rely on the experts at Contender’s to provide the best fall tree service in metro Detroit and around Southeast Michigan. And remember, a free estimate is always available online. Simply fill out the form in a minute or less and one of our experienced professionals will be in touch. Contact Contender’s to learn more.