Many think that the end of growing season means the end of tree, shrub, and lawn care. In fact, it’s quite the contrary!
Fall trees and shrubs
Fall is actually an ideal season for planting new trees and shrubs. Thanks to the increase in rainfall and cooler temperatures, trees require less watering. At the same time, the soil stays warm enough to encourage root growth, enabling the plants to establish strong roots.
For existing trees and shrubs, this is also a crucial period of time for inspection and pruning. As heavy snow and ice accumulate through the winter, the added stress can further weaken limbs and increase the risk of breakage and other safety hazards.
When it comes to lawns, fall is the optimal time for seeding new grass. Fall rain supplies the moisture seed needs to germinate, while the warm ground and cooler air temperatures provide young plants stress-free growing conditions.
This gives lawns time to establish themselves before spring, when they will reap the greatest benefits from warm-weather treatments.
Even once winter hits, our job isn’t done. Harsh wind and freezing temperatures cause evergreen leaves and stems to lose moisture, or desiccate. In addition, because the frozen ground prevents the plant’s roots from drawing up water from the soil, moisture must be stored in leaves and stems instead. That “double whammy” of dehydration can lead to sunscald, windburn, and—in extreme cases—plant death.
We recommend applying an antidesiccant to susceptible evergreens such as boxwoods, arborvitae, juniper, and pine. This provides a thin protective coating over the leaf stomata (the leaf’s pores) that helps reduce water loss during the stress of wintry weather.
Timing is crucial when applying antidesiccants. In most cases, we recommend a treatment in late fall/early winter, when the plant is dormant phase, but before temperatures are consistently freezing. If weather permits, we advise a second treatment during a warmer day in January.
SavATree works with LMS Property Managers and Boards of Directors on effective fall action plans. Get started today for the optimal care of your association’s trees and shrubs!