Winter months conjure images of brown foliage, raking leafs and hanging holiday lights for a festive time of year. However, this is also a time to think about what needs to be done with your trees. I know, I know most of you are thinking "My trees are dormant and I don't need to do anything". To the contrary, this time of year is when trees put on root growth. Trees require moisture and proper nutrients to accomplish this vital process. We often forget to water in the months between early Fall when trees drop their leafs to early Spring when we see the first signs of life in the form of new flowers and leafs. Fall nutrient applications help trees and shrubs maintain nutrition. And with added soil organic products your trees and shrubs will thrive in the Spring.
Going back to watering, Water your trees and shrubs deeply every 3-4 weeks in the season between fall and Spring.
Its also a good time to remove mistletoe from trees such as Elms and Hackberries. Although you may think its nice to give your loved one a peck on the cheek as you hold it above your head, Mistletoe can be very damaging to trees. Mistletoe is parasitic and robs nutrients and water from your trees. Often times stressing a tree further in years of drought. The best way to remove it is to prune affected branches when practical and to prune live mistletoe back to the branch tissue in areas where entire branch removal would harm your tree.
Don't forget to check mulch levels around your trees and shrubs. Its best to maintain a 3-4 inch layer of hardwood mulch under the drip line (Area extending from the trunk to the furthest branch). While you're at it uncover buried root collars. Many tree and shrub problems are due to damage of the flare roots and root collar. Rodents will nest in these areas and chew on trunk tissue. Additionally, if mulch or soil is in contact with trunk tissue it may cause decay and possible attack of fungi.
Tis the season to apply Dormant oil which suffocates damaging insects and their eggs overwintering on your trees and shrubs. Its a time specific application applied during cooler temperatures. So don't delay calling us to schedule your application.
Have a joyful holiday season around the fire! And remember the importance trees play in our lives from the logs in the fireplace to your Christmas tree!