by Beth Cook: Mammoth Cave Transplants:
With the winter months just around the corner, right now is a good time to get your landscape prepared for winter. Besides the normal tasks of raking leaves and cleaning out beds, there are a few things you need to do for your trees and shrubs.
Before the ground freezes, consider watering trees and shrubs. Some trees that are not irrigated can be under drought stress if we haven’t received much rainfall. Watering trees and shrubs, especially needle-bearing, conifer species will help them tolerate winter a little better and reduce the damage that winter winds cause by drying out the foliage that makes them turn brown over the winter. Making sure your trees and shrubs are watered during the fall and before winter, as it's crucial for their survival. Be sure to NOT to use fertilize when you are watering them. This will encourage new growth that will easily be damaged during the winter. You should also put a good layer of mulch around your trees and shrubs. This helps retain moisture and keep the soil at a more constant temperature.
Once your leaves have fallen from your trees you can now see any structural issues of the tree, such as crossing or rubbing branches. These can now be pruned as well as any other problem branches. Also it is a good time to inspect for any other damage or diseases.
Now is also a good time to plant new trees and shrubs in your landscape. To properly plant a new tree or shrub, you should dig the whole two times as wide as the root ball. Set the tree in the middle of the hole. Avoid planting the tree too deep. Make sure the trunk is slightly above ground. FIll in native soil around the root ball. Be sure to water it in well and mulch around its base.