A home landscape filled with magnificent and healthy trees is idyllic. Extended periods of extreme heat in Oklahoma can weaken trees making them more susceptible to infestations. There are steps you can take now through late fall to help your trees recover from the hot conditions, make them less susceptible to storm damage and protect their long-term health.
Fall is a great time to plant new trees and shrubs. Planting now, in the early fall, gives plants a head-start at establishing roots in the season’s cool and moist soil.
Pruning in the late fall can help protect trees from harsh winter conditions. Prune once the leaves have fallen and tree branch structures are more visible. The spread of certain disease pathogens or insect infestations is less likely because cut wounds heal more quickly. One exception to waiting for leaf fall to prune is to remove all dead and diseased wood now.
In some instances, trees may be saved with proper pruning. Many people consider total tree removal, but it is possible to save some trees. The value is knowing what to prune and certified arborists can assess your tree’s health and make recommendations.
With a hot summer and cold winter, trees are bound to lose vital nutrients in the soil. To help make sure your trees gain nutrients lost this summer and continue to feed over the winter, apply a slow-release fertilizer to replace nutrients and improve resistance to damage from disease, insects and stressful weather.
Fall is the season to give your trees a hearty gulp of water to make sure they are well-hydrated throughout the freezing winter. Subsurface watering is an efficient way to reach the tree's roots. Using an injection probe, water is distributed throughout the top 12 inches of soil - the area your trees need water the most. The subsurface watering method is ideal for trees and shrubs without irrigation systems, newly planted trees and trees that need temporary relief from drought stress.
Proper care for your trees is paramount to ensure safety and longevity of your landscape.
Certified Arborist Ben Atkins and his wife Cody Jo own Atkins Tree Care in Tulsa specializing in full service residential and commercial pruning, planting, removals and stump grinding. They can be reached at 918.691.4047, email AtkinsTreeCare@gmail.com or online at AtkinsTreeCare.com