As the summer is winding down and fall is quickly approaching, it may be easy to overlook your trees and shrubs. You may be getting your lawn and garden ready for the winter, but what about your trees? Many people think that trees need little care, and will thrive without much attention. If not cared for properly, our long, snowy Michigan winter can be hard on trees. Here are some suggestions from a nursery near Troy on how to prepare your trees to thrive through the winter.
Amend Your Soil
Just like your lawn or flower gardens, trees need the right kind of soil, too. Late summer and fall are the perfect time to help your trees and shrubs by giving their soil a boost. If you can access the soil around the bottom of the tree, add organic material such as compost. This will add nutrients for the tree to use as food before the winter comes. This is also a great time to fertilize your trees. There are a variety of options for fertilizer, but a slow release fertilizer that can be applied to the soil or as a stake next to the tree will give longer lasting nutrients to the soil.
This step is especially important for young trees. Mulching will do two things for your trees. First, it will help hold in nutrients and soil moisture, keeping your trees well fed through the winter. Second, mulch protects the roots of your trees, especially young trees from the cold. It is inevitable for soil to freeze in the Michigan winter, but adding a layer of mulch around the base of the tree will keep soil temperatures higher, longer. This will help the tree survive the cold without being shocked. Cold shocked trees may bud later in the spring or may have dead branches.
Wrap Young Trees
Young trees do not have the thick bark of older, more mature trees. This means that young trees are susceptible to damage in the winter because their thin bark cannot provide adequate protection from snow and cold. To help young trees through the winter, consider wrapping the bottom two feet of the tree with a paper tree wrap. This wrap will protect the tree in two ways. It adds an extra layer of insulation to the bottom of the tree, keeping the snow and ice away from the bark and keeping the bottom of the tree warmer. Tree wrap can also deter small animals and deer from eating the tender bark at the base of the tree.
Late summer is a good time to prune your trees. With full foliage, it is easy to find branches that are dead, and should be removed. Pruning dead branches protects the tree and people that may be around the tree from branches that may break and fall under the weight of snow. Late summer is also a good time to prune bushes so that they come back fuller, and shapelier in the spring. Do not wait too long to prune. Once a tree loses all of its leaves, it is susceptible to infection from bacteria, viruses and fungi that may make the tree sick.
Don’t forget to water your trees. Even though we may get good precipitation in the fall, trees still need plenty of water to survive the winter. Make sure that you run a hose or keep a drip system on your trees as long as possible so that they will have plenty of soil moisture to make it through the winter.
Nursery Near Troy Talks about Late Summer and Fall Tree and Shrub Care
Caring for your trees and shrubs during the late summer and fall, can help them thrive through the winter. As you are preparing the rest of your landscape for winter, don’t forget to take some time to get your trees and shrubs ready too. Need advice on tree or shrub care? Contact a reputable nursery near Troy. The professionals at the United Plant Center are here to help! Request an appointment today to learn more about trees and shrubs in Southeast Michigan.
If you are a “do it yourselfer” but need a little guidance, look no further. The United Plant Center is located on Van Dyke in Washington, MI only 20 minutes from Troy. The United Plant Center has a knowledgeable staff on hand to help with any landscape and gardening questions.