If you want to maintain a healthy landscape, a little bit of TLC goes a long way. Schedule these four fall tasks to prepare your trees for winter and many years of healthy, lush growth.

1. Give Trees a Good Soak

Even in the dead of winter, when deciduous trees are dormant, the big plants need water. Before the first hard freeze of late autumn, give your landscape trees a deep soak. After the deep soak, water your deciduous and evergreen trees at least two times a month between October and March.

Hand water your trees or use a soaker hose or soft spray attachment during the daytime hours. Try to water trees when outdoor temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit whenever possible

Experts recommend watering each individual tree with around 10 gallons of water for every inch of the tree’s trunk diameter. Use the simpler formula of multiplying your tree’s total trunk diameter (at the height of your knee) by five minutes of watering. For example, if you water a tree with a 10-inch diameter trunk, you need to let the hose soak the dripline of the tree for at least 50 minutes to reach all of the roots.

2. Wrap Vulnerable Trees

Autumn is a great time to plant young trees. However, young trees that are exposed to winter’s high winds and drastic temperature swings are more likely to develop cracks or sunscald during the winter.

The following species of trees are vulnerable to winter trunk damage in Colorado:

  • Honeylocust
  • Maple
  • Linden
  • Birch
  • Any shallow-rooted tree
  • Any newly planted tree

Protect your fragile trees from the ravages of winter by wrapping the trunks with commercial tree wrap. Start at the base of each tree and encircle the trunk with the wrapping product up to the lowest branches. Focus on protecting your young or shallow-rooted trees. Remove wrap by March or April to avoid serious pest problems during the summer.

3. Prune and Trim Branches

Strong summer growth on trees leads to overloaded, crowded, and crisscrossed branches. Heavy, unsupported branches break and cause injury and/or property damage during strong autumn and winter storms.

Hire your tree service to prune and trim trees before winter arrives. Professional tree removal companies have tools and equipment to reach the highest branches of your tallest trees. The tree service providers also remove limbs and clean up debris from trimmed branches.

While your tree service is removing trees, the experts can evaluate your trees for any fertilization or pest-treatment needs. You can nip any disease or growth problems in the bud now to have healthy, thriving trees in the spring.

4. Mulch With Leaves and Wood Chips

Water evaporates from and runs off bare soil when cold winds and storms blow through. Trees and shrubs benefit from ground cover like mulch over the bare soil around the bases of their trunks. Mulch aids in conserving soil moisture and keeping soil warmer in winter.

Use the leaves you rake up in your yard as a free source of tree mulch. Or, use wood chips to make a nice mulch bed around the bases of trees. Apply mulch to a depth of two to four inches around the tree, taking care not to let the leaves, wood chips, or other organic matter touch the bark of the trunk.

If you live in an urban or suburban area with trees in the right-of-way adjacent to your home, help your municipality keep the public trees healthy. The city will take care of all pruning, fertilizing, and trimming of street trees. However, you can give street trees a nice drink of water during the fall to help prepare all of the trees around you for the cold season ahead.

Prepare your Denver area trees for winter by contacting Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. today. We provide tree removal, pruning, trimming, and other expert tree-care services to residents throughout the Front Range region.