Well fall is in full swing and all of our deciduous trees are dropping their leaves. This marks the start of their period of upper dormancy. Through the winter months all plants put all their energy into root growth and storage of the sugars they produced through photosynthesis over the course of the year. Weakened trees and newly planted trees will require some extra help on our part. Fertilization to the root zone at this time of the year will help any plant expand their root systems and strengthen any diseased trees or shrubs for better health next year. A key ingredient to any good fertilization is the addition of micronutrients and a beneficial fungus called mychorrizae. The micronutrients such as zinc, iron and manganese are important for better root development and need to be replenished since they are no longer found in high quantities in our native soils. Mychorrizae is a beneficial fungus that occurs naturally in forested setting but are killed off in suburban settings by pollution, herbicides and pesticides. These fungi colonize the fine root systems and can enhance the roots surface area by up to 600%. If you have any fertilization done on your property, make sure that these important ingredients are included.
Another important area to protect is your broadleaf evergreens. These plants are more suseptible to winter dessication or drying out than the needled or scaled evergreens. Yuccas, Rhododendrons, Azaleas etc. should be treated with an Anti-dessicant in late November, early December and then again in mid to late January, early February. This material helps to seal up the leaves and prevents moisture loss through the stomates on the underside of the leaves.
If you have any questions, comments or need advice you can E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 516-496-7096 in Nassau or 631-698-4900 in Suffolk.