Late-Year Tree & Shrub Care: Have You Done These 5 Things?

With the end of the year approaching, there are several beneficial treatments you can take advantage of now that will help your landscape flourish in the spring.

Whether done this late-fall or in the upcoming winter, having these treatments applied by your Certified Arborist will help your landscape be reinvigorated and protected into next year. 

winter and fall tree care treatments

1. Biostimulants

tree sapling in soil need biostimulants

Our Certified Arborists like to say that if you can only do one thing to support your landscape, apply biostimulants. This organic, natural blend of ingredients are like multivitamins for your plants – they provide a multitude of health benefits to help them thrive.

  • Benefits:
    • Stimulate root growth
    • Fight off environmental stressors
    • Better recovery from disease and insect damage
    • Cost-effective

>> Read more about the benefits of biostimulants

2. Dormant Oil Sprays

sooty mold pest infestation horticultural dormant oil spray
Sooty mold found by one of our Certified Arborists; indicates insects are currently feeding on the plant

This horticultural spray protects against overwintering insects (bugs which survive through the winter season) so there isn’t an unpleasant infestation surprise come spring.

It’s safe for people, animals, nature, and beneficial insects. It simply smothers pests that are currently on the tree or shrub. As infestations are irreversible, the best method of control is through preventative care – in the form of dormant oil sprays!

Note: If you are currently noticing black sooty mold on your plants, be sure to have the dormant oil applied to them. The mold indicates insects are currently feeding on your plants. It’s important to apply the treatment now before it gets worse.

  • Benefits:
    • Prevents pest infestations by overwintering insects
    • Great for plants that are prone to or have a history of certain infestations, specifically mites, eastern tent caterpillars, scale, and aphids
  • Targets:
    • Ornamental trees
    • Large evergreen leaf plants
    • Nellie Stevens Hollies
    • Cherry Laurels
    • Magnolias
    • Camellias
    • Euonymus
    • Crape Myrtles

>> Read more about the importance of dormant oil sprays and preventing pest infestations

3. Deer Management Program

deer management program anti-dessicants whitetail buck rub on tree
Damage by Whitetail buck rub on tree, found by one of our Certified Arborists

While deer can seem like cute, harmless animals to spot in your yard, when your landscape has valuable trees, shrubs, or “deer candy,” there can be a cause for concern. This is where deer management comes into play.

Without proper management, deer can cause damage and safety issues to your landscape and your family. This can be in the form of deer browsing, mating “rut,” tree damage such as shredding of bark or girdling, car accidents, unpredictable attacks, and ticks.

  • Benefits:
    • Safety and protection from deer damage and safety issues
  • Targets:
    • Euonymus shrubs
    • Hosta (Host sp.)
    • Candy Lily (Pardancanda x norrisii)
    • Roses
    • Yews (Taxus sp.)
    • American Arborviate (Thuja occidentalis)
    • Evergreen Azaleas & Rhododendron (Rhodendron sp).

>> Read more about each type of deer damage and safety issue and the deterrent

4. Winter Protection Program

Evergreens are a highly popular choice for privacy screens. They provide a beautiful, protective barrier in the form of a beautiful “living wall.” That is, until browning and other concerns start showing up.

Unfortunately, unsightly browning is more likely to happen in the winter months. This is due to the dry air and wind which affect root systems and consequently result in the browning and dying leaves and needles. Anti-desiccants help prevent this cycle by coating the ends of foliage in a protective wax, which prevents moisture loss. They also provide a series of additional benefits for the trees.

  • Benefits: Prevents browning, dying needles and leaves, also known as winter burn
    • Protection from drought stress
    • Protection from leaf scorch
    • Helps trees suffering from root system issues
    • Makes trees look brighter and shinier/Adds a polished look to your landscape.
    • Protects from de-icing salt damage
    • It’s Eco-Friendly (100% Organic & Biodegradable)
  • Targets: Evergreen trees
    • Hollies
    • Rhododendrons
    • Boxwoods
    • Cherry laurels
    • Japanese skimmia
    • Leucothoe
    • Aucuba

>> Read more about the consequences of not using anti-desiccants

5. Dormant Tree Trimming

dormant tree trimming

While tree trimming is great to do at any time in the year, it is especially beneficial in the late fall and winter seasons. This is because a dormant tree means no visual distractions. As the branches are plain in sight, it’s easier to identify any branch or structural defects that may be present on the tree. It is also easier to ensure work is clean and done in the exact, correct location.

  • Benefits:
    • Helps prevent against disease and insect infestation
    • Faster healing
    • Promotes new growth and improves spring aesthetics (especially on flowering trees!)

>> Read more about why dormant tree trimming is a smart decision

For a complete list of tree care you can apply this late fall, read our full Fall Tree Care list.

To get a complete head start on Winter Tree Care, check out our Winter Tree Care Checklist.

Our Certified Arborists will help you through this process by providing your landscape with the safety, expertise, and protection it needs.

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