Protect Trees from Sunscald
Have you planted any new trees in the past 2 years? If yes, the trunk can be damaged in late winter when the bark gets warmed by the sun, followed by chilling from night temperatures. Sometimes borers or even disease-causing organisms can enter the tree where the bark is damaged.
Making the trunk white – using tree wrap or latex paint – prevents sunscald. The video below explains!
Utah has been fortunate to have some rain in late summer and this fall, resulting in beautiful leaf colors! While leaves are dropping, major root growth is occurring underground.
Be sure to check the soil around your newest trees and shrubs for adequate moisture. Do not let the young trees or your conifers (evergreens) go into winter with dry soil.
Save raked leaves as mulch: There is a movement to reduce leaf removal from the ground, especially in garden beds or around trees. The leaves harbor many beneficial insects, preserve soil moisture, and contribute to organic matter. They degrade over winter and almost disappear by the following spring.
Do not prune now: Wait to conduct any pruning on apples, pears, and ornamental trees until late December through March. Prune peaches and cherries next spring after severe cold temperatures have passed (late March to early April).
Do not fertilize now: Roots will continue to grow all through fall, but nutrient uptake essentially ceases after the leaves have dropped. It is too late for any fall fertilizer applications, as whatever is applied will leach out of the soil.
Tree removal: Trees suffering from significant insect, disease, or other problems should be removed now.
Protect from mice, voles: Create or maintain at least 3 feet of clear space from around the base of trees to help minimize rodents from feeding on bark and roots. Young trees are particularly susceptible to girdling because their trunk circumference is so small. Consider installing a physical barrier around the trunk and down into the soil up to 6 inches.