Fall Colors May Not Be Vivid This Year

We took this photo the other day. We’d say drought conditions currently exist.  And because of that, colors may not be as brilliant this fall.

Our trees are under a lot of stress. Back in June, we had the driest 22 day period in record keeping history for DuPage County. July was under average for precipitation and between August 1st and today, we’ve only had 2.4 inches of rain.

We should all do what we can to water our lawns now so that when the rains do come, the ground is more able to absorb and accept it. If the ground is rock hard, most of the rain that falls will ‘sheet off’ to lower areas which might make trees go into the Winter too dry. Be sure to water root systems up until ground freeze should it stay unusually dry.  Click here to review the proper way to water your trees and shrubs.

Trees whose roots extend under dry lawn are really suffering right now. Shrubs and small trees, however, that are completely mulched in to their drip lines are under less stress as the mulch will help to retain soil moisture and deflect the sun. The exception is trees that were planted in the last 2 years. Pay particular attention to these trees even if they are mulched.

We have been getting several calls about tree leaves shriveling, drying out and dropping early. Some trees just look thin and sick. Watering now will begin to help. In addition, trees need water to display their best Fall colors.

Over 80% of our clients are scheduled for Fall High Pressure Root Fertilization  which is the most important thing you can do for your trees. We strongly recommend that you consider it!

We hope you take a moment to absorb the Fall beauty around us, even if colors may seem muted this year.

Proper Mulching Keeps Trees Healthy

Proper mulching is a tremendous benefit to trees and shrubs – if done properly.  If done improperly it is often a death sentence.  Take a look at these photos below:

Right way to mulch using Volcano method

Right Way: “Volcano” Mulching

Right Way: Volcano Mulching

Always use organic mulch such as woodchips, mushroom compost or shredded bark.  Mulching with these materials will help keep weeds down, help retain soil moisture and keeps the root base cool in summer. Be careful to keep the mulch 3″ to 6″ away from the ‘above ground’ bark.  It is o.k. to then build up your mulch as you approach the outside of the mulch circle.  The bigger the mulch circle, the better.  Monitor your trees and shrubs throughout the summer.  If the mulch begins to shift back toward the trunk, pull it away.

Wrong way to mulch - pyramid mulching

Wrong Way: “Pyramid” Mulching

 Wrong Way: Pyramid Mulching

There is one mulching practice that far too often ends up killing many trees and shrubs.  We refer to it as ‘Pyramid Mulching’.  Surely you must have seen this practice of piling mulch as high as eighteen inches against the base of a tree.  Piling even as little as 1″ of mulch on the base of any sized tree trunk or shrubs could, and often does, eventually kill them.