Fall checklist for your home’s landscaping – Part 2 Trees and Shrubs

Fall checklist for your home’s landscaping – Part 2 Trees and Shrubs

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

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.