As you wind down your yard care for the year, it’s important to remember the larger ornamental plants. Your trees and shrubs are tough, but they need help if they’re to make it through the winter unscathed. Late fall is the time to give them the nourishment and protection they need. Here’s what your late fall tree care plan should entail.
Scale bugs, aphids, mites, mildew, mold, and fungi are all jumping at the chance to infect your trees and shrubs – if they haven’t already. You can exterminate pests both large and small with a dormant oil application. Also known as horticulture oil, this is a standard treatment for large ornamental plants, and it’s safe for them. Your tree service technician will spray it on trees to kill off any existing pest infestations. It works by smothering them. After the oil has been applied, it will also prevent any new bugs or pests from seeking shelter on the tree during the cold months.
Further, the oil will kill bugs at any part of their life cycle, so they will all be eliminated, whether they’re adults looking to hibernate or eggs that won’t hatch until spring. Right now is the ideal time to apply since bugs seek shelter for the upcoming winter season. Even if your trees don’t seem to have a pest problem, the best yard care is the preventative kind. It’s much easier to prevent a problem than treat one.
Your lawn isn’t the only thing that needs fertilizer at this time of year. Your trees and shrubs need added nutrients too! This is particularly important for deciduous trees – those that lose their leaves every fall. Deciduous trees go dormant during the cold season, meaning whatever nutrients they had the opportunity to store pre-winter is all they have. If they run out of minerals, their health could be impacted by the winter. You can give them the minerals they need through a deep-root injection.
Right now, your trees and shrubs are focusing their energy on their root system. They need to keep it strong to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients and store them up for winter. Even evergreen trees need help. Despite not going dormant, it is challenging to find minerals in the soil during the coldest part of the year. Deep-root feedings are similar to a shot of vitamins you might get from the doctor. Your tree service technician will use an instrument that looks very much like a large syringe. This tool injects nutrients directly into the root system of the tree or shrub. This provides several key benefits.
Firstly, your plant will lap up the minerals and store them for use over the winter when food is hard to come by – not unlike humans stocking up the pantry before a big storm. Secondly, the deep-root feeding lets the technician target the root system so only the tree can use the minerals. Other plants like flowers or the grass won’t inadvertently compete with the tree for the minerals. Thirdly, deep-root feedings can help break up hard compacted soil. If you didn’t know, the soil is best when it’s loose and airy – like the fresh topsoil you buy in stores. Over time, when soil becomes compacted, it is difficult for the root system of trees and shrubs to move through the soil and grow. Compacted soil also prevents air, water, sunlight, and minerals from penetrating the soil. By breaking up the compacted soil, you will alleviate this problem. An easy way to tell if your soil is compacted is by using a trowel or screwdriver to dig into the ground. If you can’t do this, your soil is most definitely compacted.
Give your larger ornamental plants everything they need to make it through fall and beyond. North Georgia Lawn‘s tree and shrub care program delivers targeted treatments throughout the year to meet the changing needs of the season. To learn more about this beneficial service, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (678) 508-0050, or you can reach us online through our contact form here.