Goodbye beautiful fall leaves and hello to bare branches. Winter is slowly sneaking up on us and it is the perfect time to prep your lawn and garden for these frigid months. You may not have been aware, but you can actually winterize your tree! What are some ways to do this?
Prune dead, diseased and overlapping branches in late fall. This will form and strengthen the tree, encourages new strong growth in the spring, minimizes future storm damage and protects against overwintering disease and insects.
Mulching and aerating is especially important during this time:
Spread a thin layer of composted organic mulch to cover the soil several inches deep. Cover an area at least as large as the branch spread. In addition to protecting feeder roots, mulch also recycles nutrients directly to these roots.
Aerate soils and compacted mulch if they are waterlogged or poorly drained. Saturated and dense soil can suffocate roots. It is critical not to damage tree roots in the soil as you do this, so work only on those few inches at the surface crust. so work only on those few inches at the surface crust.
Make sure to fertilize and water as well!
Fertilize by top dressing over the mulch with a balanced fertilizer if the essential elements are in short supply within the soil. Be sure to use nitrogen lightly, especially under large, mature trees and around newly planted trees. You do not want a vegetative “flush” of growth during late fall periods of warming. Large applications of nitrogen cause this growth.
Dry spells in winter or hot daytime temperatures will desiccate a tree very quickly. Watering may be needed where soils are cool but not frozen, and there has been little precipitation. Winter droughts need treatment with water the same as summer droughts, except it is much easier to over-water in winter.
Found at ThoughtCo.
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