By Nancy Penrose

As the summer warmth begins to wane and the leaves start to turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, it’s a clear sign that fall is arriving. While fall might bring to mind images of pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, it’s also a crucial time to pay attention to the health of your trees. Proper fall tree care ensures that your trees remain vibrant and strong throughout the colder months and are ready to thrive when spring arrives once again. In this article, we’ll explore some essential fall tree care tips to help you keep your trees in excellent condition.

1. Raking and Leaf Removal
The sight of colorful leaves blanketing the ground is undoubtedly picturesque, but leaving too many leaves on the ground can have negative consequences for your trees and lawn. A thick layer of leaves can create a damp environment that promotes disease and inhibits healthy growth. Make sure to rake and remove fallen leaves regularly to prevent these issues.

2. Mulching
Applying a layer of mulch around the base of your trees is a great practice for fall tree care. Mulch helps retain moisture, regulates soil temperature, and suppresses weed growth. Apply a layer of mulch that is about 2-4 inches deep, making sure to leave a few inches of space around the tree trunk to prevent moisture buildup and potential rot.

3. Watering
While trees tend to require less water during the fall compared to the hot summer months, it’s still important to ensure they receive adequate hydration before the ground freezes. Trees need sufficient moisture to survive the winter and prepare for the spring growth season. Be sure to water your trees deeply but less frequently as the temperatures drop.

4. Pruning
Fall is an ideal time for pruning, as the trees are entering a period of dormancy. Pruning helps remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches, enhancing the overall health and appearance of your trees. Additionally, removing these branches can prevent them from falling and causing damage during winter storms. Always use proper pruning techniques and tools to avoid injuring the tree.

5. Inspect for Pests and Diseases
Perform a thorough inspection of your trees for any signs of pests or diseases. Fall is a crucial time to identify and address these issues before they have a chance to worsen over the winter. Look for abnormal growths, discoloration, or signs of infestation. If you’re unsure about a particular issue, consider consulting with an arborist for professional advice.

6. Protect Young Trees
Young and newly planted trees are particularly vulnerable to the harsh conditions of winter. Consider wrapping the trunks of young trees with burlap or tree wrap to prevent sunscald and frost cracks. This protection can also help keep rodents from gnawing on the bark during the colder months.

7. Fertilization
Fall is an optimal time to fertilize your trees, as they will absorb and store nutrients during the dormant season. A slow-release, balanced fertilizer can provide essential nutrients to support root growth and overall tree health. Consult with a professional or conduct a soil test to determine the specific nutritional needs of your trees.

For more details and advice on tree care, contact Big Trees Inc. at 360-563-2700.

Nancy Penrose is the owner of Big Trees Inc., located in Snohomish, WA in the Seattle area. The company is one of the largest tree nurseries in the Seattle area with over 120,000 trees available in over 300 varieties. They not only deliver young trees, but also mature trees in a wide range of sizes. Some types of trees available include spring flowering, deciduous, evergreen, and privacy trees. The company also does tree transplanting including large trees. Their blog can be seen at or They can be reached at 360-563-2700.

Big Trees Inc.
10928 Springhetti Rd
Snohomish, WA 98296

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