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April showers bring May flowers, but October tree care makes for healthy March trees, say arboricultural specialists of Florida.

Trees May Be Dormant, but Arborists and Those Concerned With Tree Health Should Not Be

Even in Florida, there are trees that lose their leaves and go dormant during the fall and winter months. Though snow may not be a threat, cold weather can still be hard on the native plants and trees in the state. Homeowners and amateur gardeners should be aware of fall tasks that can help trees grow healthier even during their dormant period. This article will discuss this fall checklist.

Remove Dead and Decaying Organic Matter

Everyone prefers that their yard is free of dead leaves and fallen branches, but this regular chore is more than just a way to make the lawn visually pleasing. It can also be a way to keep trees healthy by reducing the presence of decaying organic matter which is attractive not only to pests but to fungi and microbes. Even dead or dying branches on a tree can be Petri dishes for tree disease. 

Wood borers and termites can destroy the dead wood and expose vulnerable parts of the living tree to bacteria, viruses, and fungal spores. Tree trimming and tree pruning can prevent this. This particular chore should be done by a trained tree service professional under the supervision of a certified arborist. This prevents accidents and injuries to both people and trees.

Here’s a basic list of tasks that help prevent pests and disease:

  • Raking leaves
  • Removing fallen branches
  • Inspecting and removing old mulch if it shows signs of fungal growth.
  • Trimming dead branches with sterilized tools
  • Pruning overgrowth to add healthy growth (again with sterilized tools).

Watering, Mulching, and Fertilizing

After cleaning up after your trees, the next step is to nourish and protect them with water, mulch, and fertilizer. Though trees need less water during the fall and winter, one good soak on the roots at the time of fertilization is a good way to start the season. Don’t be tempted to use a sprinkler or water the leaves and trunk. This can actually be bad for the tree. 

  • Fertilizer: This comes in many forms, but it is essentially a vitamin boost for your soil.  It adds nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in different amounts with other trace elements to round out the nutrition. Follow the instructions on the package of fertilizer, and be sure not to add too much or to use it on young trees that are not yet established, as it can damage the roots. 
  • Mulch: Mulch can be organic or inorganic, but either way it does protect the tree roots against temperature extremes and moisture loss. Apply mulch away from the root flare and at a depth of 2-4 inches for optimal protection.

Planting Something New

Because it is a time of dormancy or slow growth, fall is also an excellent time to plant new trees. It gives the tree time to be established instead of shocking it by transplanting during a period of rapid growth. If you have any concerns about your trees or want advice on what to plant, look no further than a reputable arborist. They can perform a tree risk assessment as well as advise homeowners on tree removal and planting new trees.

About Any Town Tree

Any Town Tree is available to homeowners in People in Naples, FL and the surrounding region in need of a tree service company. We offer free competitive estimates and emergency tree service. Call us today for more information about our services.