Monday, October 21, 2019

Fall Lawn and Tree Reminders

Kari Lewis

Now, as we proceed farther into fall, I wanted to give some reminders regarding fall tree and lawn care.  Proper care of trees now, in the fall, usually reduces winter damage to trees.

Once the trees’ leaves turn color and fall off, the tree is dormant so, it is recommended to water trees once each week until the soil freezes.  This watering after the tree is dormant provides a water reserve for when the tree comes out of dormancy and it will make a big impact in next year’s overall tree health. Remember to water not at the tree trunk, but out at the dripline of the tree to water those feeder roots. 

If you have newly planted trees, it’s important to protect them from winter desiccation.  It’s advised to construct sun barriers for newly planted evergreens on the windward and south side of trees or shrubs to protect them from winds that will dry them out and protect them from intensive reflective winter sun.  These young trees can be protected by wrapping burlap between fence posts or propping a wooden pallet on end.  Deciduous trees (that’s the ones whose leaves turn color) with smooth and dark bark should have trunks wrapped with a tree wrap to reflect the sun, which will reduce sunscald on the bark. 

Regarding lawns, fall is the time to make another fertilizer application or two.  In Montana, it’s recommended to fertilize around Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.  The final fall fertilizer application should occur after the last mowing of the year, but about four weeks before the soil freezes.  The fall fertilizer applications are key fertilizing times, as your lawn will green up much faster in the spring if it receives this October fertilizer application. 

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