The warm weather is departing and the leaves are changing, so what should you be doing to prepare your trees for the autumn and winter cold? In this guide, we will give you our top five autumn tree tips to help your trees and garden to look their best.
Clean up fallen leaves
The beautiful orange and brown leaves that clutter your garden can give your yard a nice autumn feel. However, they also block the sunlight and air from getting through, suffocating your plants and grass. It’s a good idea to regularly rake up and remove these leaves throughout autumn. You don’t just need to dispose of these leaves though! These leaves can become rich in nutrients as they rot, becoming the perfect ingredient to start a compost.
Plant new trees
Autumn is an excellent time of year to plant new trees. Many people have the misconception that winter will prevent the young trees from thriving. However, it takes a while for the saplings to take root and begin to really grow. Giving them the autumn and winter months before the onset of warm weather will give the trees time to get ready for a good stretch of sun. To give the trees the best chance of survival, it’s a good idea to provide a good layer of organic mulch around the base and roots to help retain heat and moisture through summer. Manure or a good fertile compost is ideal as it will provide your young trees with the nutrients and microorganisms they need to prosper.
Maintain your citrus trees
Citrus trees can be vulnerable to the cold winter months. Giving them some extra autumn love can put them in a good condition to withstand the upcoming chills. We recommend sourcing a custom citrus plant food that will have the perfect balance of nutrients and the full range of trace elements: iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, manganese and boron. Well-balanced levels of soil pH and organic matter can provide these elements, but a citrus fertilizer can make up for any deficiencies to ensure that your citrus tree is getting what it needs. In addition, make sure you keep your tree thoroughly watered before and after application of the fertilizer. Also check frequently for bugs and pests. If there are any such threats, get yourself an insecticide for bugs or a horticultural oil to deal with aphids and scale insects.
Protecting and preparing your trees with a well-balanced fertiliser will make them more resilient to disease and fungus. This is especially important to do in preparation for the cold, wet winter months. Spring and summer will have spurred lots of growth in your trees, which can take a toll on the overall structure. Autumn is a great time to provide them with fertilizer to help them recover and to prepare for the oncoming winter. A slow release fertilizer is generally preferable as it will provide your tree with the nutrients it needs over an extended period of time without too much leaching through the soil. These are more expensive, but worth the extra cost. Unless an arborist has tested your soil and revealed specific deficiencies, a complete fertilizer such as a 16-4-8, 12-6-6 or 12-4-8, is the most common recommendation.
Prune deciduous trees
Trees that shed their leaves in winter, known as deciduous trees, are ideally pruned in autumn or winter. However we do not recommend doing this yourself as incorrect technique can result in wounds that will not recover quickly due to the onset of cold weather in winter. When done properly by a professional arborist, a good autumn prune of your deciduous trees can put them in great shape.