Fall is well and truly here and it’s not going to be too long before winter comes after it, as well. For some of us, the color of the leaves are starting to change, and the trees are a lot busier this time of year. As much as it can be lovely to watch them in their time of change, they can also bring a lot more work with them, as well. Here, we’re going to look at the issues that can come with your trees, and your different options to ensure that you give them and the garden the care they need.
Dealing with those leaves
The first and most obvious change is that your trees are going to be losing their leaves and, left to sit, this can create quite the mess in the garden, indeed, not to mention harboring all manner of pests. Leaves are biodegradable so you could, in theory, let them sit and rot, but the risk of mold ,bacteria, and weed seeds this brings is likely to mean more trouble in the future. Taking care of your leaves, be it by raking, by leaf blowing, or otherwise, is vital. When getting rid of them, don’t burn them, as this can create a huge fire hazard, not to mention smoke and pollutants. Instead, put them in your compost bin or your green waste if you have it.
Minding your gutters
The leaves aren’t just going to end up on the ground of your garden. They can get kicked up into the air by the wind, where they hit against your roof and then slide down it to settle in the gutter. Alongside twigs and other organic matter, this can create a dam that will block the downspout of the gutter. When this happens, water gets trapped and, while starting to flow down the side of your home, can wear away at the weakest point of your facade, like where the roof meets the wall, and begin to seep in. Make sure that you take the time to clean the gutter at least once this year to prevent that from happening.
Beware the branches
With summer now over, your trees might have done all of the growing that they’re going to do this year, which means it’s a good time to make sure that they haven’t grown too much. Branches that are getting heavier are a lot more likely to snap, to fall, or at least to drop twigs. At best, this means more yard cleanup for you to do, at worst, it can mean real damage to either people or property, especially if it gets really windy or a storm blows through. Consider hiring a tree service once a year to make sure that your trees are in good condition, trimmed to the right branch length, and likely to stay healthy through the winter. Overgrown trees can cause all kinds of problems, otherwise.
Protecting their roots
For younger or more vulnerable trees, then you might want to surround them with a base of mulch as the weather starts to get a lot colder. This is especially true if you’re in an area that sees a lot of frost and snow. The freezing and thawing that can happen to trees at this time of year can be very stressful on them. Mulching them and adding fertilizer before winter sets in can help them retain more nutrients and moisture, while offering their roots a little extra protection from the cold. If you already have mulch at the base of your trees, make sure that its thicker than two inches deep to be as effective as possible.
Keeping an eye out for infestations
Fall tends to be when most of the sicknesses that affect trees can begin to sprout up as well. It’s a good idea to check your trees with the changing seasons to make sure that they haven’t become the homes of destructive pests or hosts of diseases or fungi that can spread to other trees. If more than 30-40% of the foliage seems to be affected by such issues, then you might need to consider removing the tree before it spreads to the others. If you’re not certain, then your local arborist should be able to clear some things up for you.
How you deal with your trees is up to you. One thing is certain, however, you can’t ignore them. Decide your plan of action and get working on it before they start losing all of their leaves.