With a chill in the air that tells us winter is just around the corner your garden begins winding down for the colder months –but it is still a busy time for you in the garden with some jobs you can still get done. It is a good time to tidy up those trees –the deciduous trees are dropping those beautifully coloured leaves (which make excellent compost by the way) and the evergreens are starting to slow down as they prepare for the winter ahead. It’s a perfect time for tree pruning, tree removal and a general tidy-up of your hedges or topiary –who could use a haircut along with the rest of the garden to see them through the winter.
Pruning however, can mean more than just cutting a tree or shrub back to size to keep it under control –with selective pruning it will look more balanced, allow in more light and enhance its natural shape. As much as a third of a trees branches can be removed at this stage –the crown can be thinned out or lifted and any dead or diseased branches removed from the tree. A tired-looking tree can be rejuvenated for spring and the work can start now.
Branches on any flowering trees you may have can also be removed (if they have finished flowering) and several shrubs and trees such as the Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica) can be pruned back hard on last years wood.
Note: Care should always be taken when pruning flowering trees as you risk cutting away the branches that will flower in the spring.
Almost any tree can also be planted now while there is just enough time for roots to establish in the fading warmth. Start thinking about planting for next autumn –perhaps a Dogwood (Cornus), Gingko (G. biloba), a Japanese maple (Acer Palmatum) or why not plant some deciduous fruit trees –stone fruit, apples and pears are all great choices. Your existing fruit trees can also be pruned once they have finished with their fruiting.
Unsure about your tree care?
Trees and shrubs can be very forgiving but incorrect pruning techniques can often tear, wound or bruise a tree, making its healing slow and leaving the tree susceptible to disease. We are happy to offer you any advice you may need.
So plan ahead for spring, it’s not too early and you’ll be pleased with the results.
Things to do now:
- Spread some compost around your garden beds and rake up all that deciduous leaf fall to re-start the heap again.
- Dead-head any spent flowers to avoid any energy being wasted on seed production.
- Divide perennials such as Clivias, Agapanthus, Hostas and Day lilies.
- Last chance to get some goodness into the lawn while the soil is still warm and the roots are taking up nutrients for the winter. An autumn fertiliser is perfect but why not try mowing over some of those fallen leaves and just leave them where they lay. Saves raking them up!
- Get some bulbs in for spring flowering –tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and ranunculus are a good choice.