Fall checklist for your home’s landscaping – Part 2 Trees and Shrubs
September 23, 2013
Here’s our second installment – Fall Landscape maintenance check list.
Trees and shrubs
Plant trees, shrubs, and vines – Planting now through the end of October/November gives most plants a head start in the spring, since roots will grow in still-warm soil long after air temperatures drop. Be sure to soak the root ball thoroughly and apply mulch to prevent the soil around plants from thawing and refreezing, which can damage tender new roots.
Protect plants from rodents – Keep mice, moles, and other rodents from feeding on the bark of young trees in winter by wrapping a cylinder of 1/2-inch-mesh hardware cloth around the trunk. Leave at least 1 inch between the mesh and trunk, and push the mesh 3 inches into the soil. Plastic wraps that extend 2 feet above the snow line protect the trunk from rabbits. Remove the mesh in spring.
Protect tender evergreens from cold – Boxwood, holly, and rhododendrons often suffer in winter because their leaves lose moisture, or transpire, on sunny days without replacing it from the soil when it’s frozen. Surround these plants with a shelter of burlap or old sheets. Drive three to five narrow stakes around the plant and pull the material taut over them so that it doesn’t rest on leaves or branches; secure in place with staples. The material creates shade and slows wind, both of which serve to reduce transpiration. Provide additional protection by using an anti-transpirant spray on the foliage after the first hard frost. The spray will dry into a thin film that reduces the moisture lost by transpiration.
Water – Soak soil around trees and shrubs if rainfall has been light to ensure that plants enter winter fully hydrated.
Pruning – Winter (Dormant Pruning) through early summer is the time to prune most trees and shrubs. Prune lightly to repair broken or damaged limbs or to minimally shape trees and shrubs.
Schmechtig Landscapes is a landscape contractor who provides landscape design, landscape installation, and landscape services for clients in North Shore Suburbs of Chicagoland, Northwest Suburbs of Chicagoland, Lake Geneva, and surrounding communities.