What do I need to do to look after my Trees in Autumn and ensure the best autumn tree care?
Autumn is one of my favourite times to be working around trees. After the long, hot summer months it is nice to have a break from the intensity of the sun and ease towards the cooler months.
Although it may seem they are slowing down, your trees can be quite active in autumn preparing themselves for winter. This blog will offer a few tips on what you can do to look after your trees in autumn and to support your trees.
What happens to my trees in autumn?
Its an important time to look after your trees and your garden. Trees losing their leaves was often viewed as a passive process; the leaves merely falling from the trees.
Its is now understood that trees actively “push” their leaves off in a process known as abscission. This requires effort and, therefore, energy from the tree. For this reason, it is best to avoid pruning directly at this time and allow the tree to do its thing. To support your tree, you can apply a nice layer of well-rotted wood mulch (see our mulching guide). This will help retain useful levels of moisture in the ground and release nutrients at a suitable rate.
Even if your tree is an evergreen, mulching around the base will have many benefits.
Autumn Tree Care: Our trees are stressed and we need to look after them
We have had a very dry summer this year and trees have been suffering due to the lack of water. Its, therefore, really important that we understand how to look after our trees in autumn and to tend them to a healthy position.
If the drought continues through autumn, it could be beneficial to continue watering your trees if you can still spare any. Be careful if you know your property is prone to frosts as any new growth this late in the year will not be able to harden fully before winter. Due to Auckland’s milder winters this is not such a problem as it would be elsewhere.
Citrus trees especially will be putting on autumn growth. You can support them by fertilizing with natural organic fertilizers. A quick google search will give you lots of suggestions. Be careful not to over-fertilize as more is definitely not merrier and you could end up overwhelming the tree. Palmers also offers some great throughout the year tips you might find helpful here on how to look after your trees in autumn.
Start planning your planting – to look after your trees and your garden
This time of year is a good time to start planning your planting. We have blogs that cover this topic in more detail, but in brief: assess the site, choose suitable plants, prepare the ground, plant properly, provide after care. You will have more success if you wait until the rain comes, it will also make the ground much easier to dig.
Autumn can be a good time to have a professional Arborist assess your trees. With the leaves out of the way the canopy can be viewed more easily. Any defects can be identified and addressed before the winter storms. We also have a blog covering this topic which provides tips to homeowners about how to identify defects in trees yourself.
Enjoy the trees in autumn
Finally, enjoy the fruits and colours of Autumn. Feijoas especially will be ripening around now and if you don’t grow any yourself it is highly likely you know someone who does. The deciduous trees will soon transition from shades of green through rusty oranges, yellows and reds, finally falling to the ground leaving a blanket of crispy shells for kids to satisfying scrunch under their feet.
Read our recent blog on how to look after your garden in autumn to really put your garden’s needs first!
Autumn is a great time to get out to your local park and enjoy the show.