Autumn | Fall Planting and Pruning Tips
BCLS Landscape Services of Central Virginia
Autumn | Fall tips on how to improve your landscape
this fall with proper planting and pruning techniques
You may think spring is the best time to plant and update your Central Virginia landscape. However, with the lower temperatures during the fall, fall time is actually perfect for planting an array of trees, shrubs and groundcovers and even pruning some trees and shrubs. In the fall, cooler weather will put less stress on the plants during installation, thus allowing them to better acclimate to the new surroundings. Increased potential for fall rain also helps your new plantings established their root systems before the temperatures heat back up.
Tip # 1: What to Know Before You Plant…
With potentially higher amounts of rainfall and more comfortable temperatures, fall creates the perfect environment for planting shrubs and trees. You just want to make sure everything is planted before the ground freezes. Before installing any foliage, you need to make sure the planting area has good drainage and the required amount of sunlight for the tree or shrub. If the soil is compacted or has a high/low pH, those will need to be addressed before planting, as well.
Adding mulch on top of the trees and shrubs after installation will help them better hold in moisture and also regulate the ground temperatures. The mulch should be kept about 4 inches away from the tree’s trunk. Create a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the plants. There are a wide variety of trees you can plant this time of year, including oak, cherry, elm, maple, pines and magnolias. You can also plant most deciduous shrubs during the fall. You can even select the plants based on their fall colors. But not all trees and shrubs are suited for fall planting. Foliage with shallow root systems are ideal for the cooler temps — while ones with fewer, larger roots shouldn’t be planted this time of year.
Tip # 2: How to Prune Trees & Shrubs…
Trimming your deciduous trees and shrubs can promote plant health, encourage plant development and be visually appealing. Late Fall and early winter is an ideal season for pruning because most trees and shrubs are dormant, so new growth isn’t about to start.
It’s important you properly prune your trees and shrubs because they never heal from damage — they only seal the wounds. Plus, damage can stress the plants, resulting in pests and disease. Pruning should start when you plant your new plants, and that’s especially important for new trees. This will help train the plant how to grow properly.
Here are tips for trimming new trees:
- Remove dead, broken or diseased branches.
- Cut crossing branches and ones that grow towards the center of the tree.
- Shape the tree, but don’t cut the main branch.
- Use these techniques to prune young shrubs:
- Thin out the branches to create good spacing.
- Prune broken, disease or crossing roots.
- When using deciduous shrubs as hedges, prune them to within 6 inches of the ground.
To prune or remove larger, more established branches, you’ll need to make three or four cuts into the limb to prevent ripping or damage to the trunk. Don’t cut the branch collar or leave a stump where you cut the limb.
Tip # 3: Maintaining Your Trees and Shrubs are Critical for Their Long-Term Health and Vigor…
Maintaining your plants is critical to their long-term health and vigor. Proper pruning, fertilizing and pest management will help your plants flourish for years to come. You may see some of our helpful planting and health care guides at…https://bclslandscape.com/company-blog/residential-resources/
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