Fall Watering Tips | Minnesota

Water until the freeze, please

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Your Trees and Shrubs are Thirsty

The leaves are changing color and the temperatures are dropping. Fall has arrived in Minnesota! But just because it's getting colder doesn't mean you should stop watering your trees and shrubs. Proper watering now will help them survive the harsh winter winds ahead. Follow these guidelines to keep your trees and shrubs happy and healthy through the winter season.

Fall Watering Tips

  • Water away from the base of the trees - a couple of feet away from the trunk. Watering too close to the trunk can lead to pest problems.
  • Give the tree a long, slow, deep watering. A drip irrigation system is ideal because it delivers water directly to the root zone.
  • Water in the morning so the tree has time to absorb moisture before temperatures drop at night. This helps prevent fungal diseases.
  • Use a soil moisture meter or simply stick your finger into the soil. If it's dry about 2-4 inches below the surface, it's time to water.
  • Apply a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree but avoid piling it against the trunk. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and regulates soil temperature.
  • As temperatures drop and the tree enters dormancy, gradually reduce watering to prevent over-saturation.

verdant landscape with green grass and trees and shrubs in a rock bed

Additionally — although we sometimes put fertilizer on our lawns, fall is not the time to fertilize trees and shrubs. Wait for spring to apply fertilizer. Autumn is also a great time to lay down more mulch in your plant beds and at the base of the trees. It is good practice to keep at least 3-4 inches of hardwood mulch on plant beds as a weed preventer BUT it also protects the root systems of plants and trees during the winter.

Follow these guidelines, and you'll have happy, healthy trees that make it through winter with ease. Your landscape will thank you next spring!

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Many landscape designers would agree that Fall is the ideal time for planting trees and shrubs.

Three reasons to start now.

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Call (651) 203-3000

Winter is perfect for planning!

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