Here are some big things to know about your trees going into Fall:
Fall is an excellent time to plant trees! Trees are recovering from Summer stress and are moving towards dormancy which makes them easier to transport and plant. Throughout winter, their roots will remain active in stabilizing themselves and acquiring resources for the upcoming growing season. An additional advantage to planting in the fall is that it allows our arborists to see the leaf structure of a tree before it is planted.
Early leaf drop or fall color can be a problem. If your deciduous tree (Pecan, Red Oak, Post Oak, Cedar Elm, etc…) has begun changing color or dropping leaves already, it is exhibiting signs of stress and should be evaluated by our arborists for any underlying problems. Generally, these types of problems are a matter of drought stress, nutrient deficiency, pest damage, or many others. Schedule a consultation today if you have these concerns.
Fertilization is helpful. Direct fertilization aims to extend the growing season and replenish energy reserves that are used to create new growth for the next growing season. It is not uncommon to see a tree push new growth in the fall as conditions, often moisture and temperature, are optimal. A prescribed fertilizer should create an immediate growth response but will also help build an active, long term soil environment that maximizes tree health.
Fall color can be different from year to year! The timing and quantity of various environmental factors like precipitation, daylight, and temperature dictate the intensity of a tree’s fall color. The color, whether brown, red, orange, or yellow varies between species but occurs due to the lack of chlorophyll production as a tree slides into dormancy. As chlorophyll exits a tree’s leaves, other pigments are left to exhibit many of the colors that we associate with Fall.
Don’t stop watering yet! Trees are still actively transpiring (sweating) during the fall months and can experience drought damage if left unattended. While rain is more common, temperatures can still approach the 90’s during these months which means that supplemental watering for young trees is still important to ensure a smooth transition into dormancy. Adding mulch and maintaining a less frequent, deep watering cycle will help keep trees growing vigorously and extend the growing season.