I'm Basil, I'm a Treecologist and we are approaching fall which means that trees will begin going dormant. So I want to give you a list of things that you should think about doing or think about hiring somebody to do as we move into the dormant season.
The most important thing right now is: feed your soil. If you take care of the soil the soil will take care of your trees. Think about what nature does this time of the year, at least here in this part of the world. Leaves are falling from the trees and those leaves are landing on the ground. They're decomposing they're feeding everything that lives in the soil and those things that live in the soil are what provide the nutrients and the other health benefits for your trees.
So how can you recreate what's happening in nature? Well first, just leave the leaves. If you don't want them on your grass, fine. Blow them into your beds, blow them underneath your trees underneath your shrubs and your flowerbeds. You want those leaves to rot and feed the biology in your soil.
Compost is another great option. You can make your own, you can buy it. Another way you can recreate what happens naturally is putting down thick beds of wood chips or mulches.
Finally this is a good time for fertilizers but not your traditional fertilizers that you're buying off the shelf in stores. We don't want the excessive nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. We want fertilizers that build soil biology.
So if I can give you the key phrase to remember here it's build soil biology.
The dormant season is also a great time to do certain kinds of pruning. So for example if you want to do a structural pruning on a young tree which might require that you cut quite a few branches this is the time to do that sort of pruning.
I recommend that you do all of your planting during the dormant season; especially for trees and shrubs this is the best time to plant. You can plant other times the year but it's gonna take a lot more watering and care and establishment is gonna be more challenging. So you want to get trees in the ground, you want to get shrubs in the ground. This is a great time to do it.
The good news for dormant season is you don't have to worry much about pests. They're mostly inactive. The only thing I do recommend is there are a certain set of pests for which we should apply some oil in the winter time.
I always recommend having a professional inspect your trees and shrubs at least once during the dormant season. If possible it should actually be once during fall, winter, spring, and summer; but at a minimum one inspection of dormant season, one inspection of growing season will suffice.
Finally as Treecologists we look at the entire ecology of your trees and your property. We're not looking just at the individual organisms so this is a great time of the year to do things that help foster the overall health of the system in which your tree participates. So for example things that allow pollinators to overwinter or birds to roost or bats to roost or provide a place for an owl to live. All of these things will create a more healthy ecosystem.
We've just scratched the surface today on all these topics but we've written articles, we've got checklists, we've got all kinds of stuff for you to use. We'll link it all below.
Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy the upcoming dormant season.