Even though it’s been a strange year (to put it mildly), one thing is as normal as can be: the change of season. So even as we prepare to celebrate holidays in a new way, our gardens and trees are preparing for winter in exactly the same way they have for millennia. Specifically, they are going dormant.

Dormant season typically arrives in early winter, so now’s the time for a refresher course in dormancy with a little focus on dormant pruning services. It’s the best way to monitor your trees’ health before spring.

Deciduous trees prepare for the dormant season by pulling resources from their leaves to conserve energy in late fall and early winter before they fall to the ground. It’s all part of the tree’s preparation to remobilize its resources for lush spring growth.

You can help out your trees’ natural preparation for winter with a few precautions of your own. Although we don’t have terribly cold winters here in the Conejo Valley, it’s still a good idea to prepare a bed of mulch at the base of your trees. This will help insulate the soil and provide a good environment for roots to form for a longer period of time. In fact, you might not think that there’s much root activity during the dormant season, but root development may keep occurring well into autumn, especially around here where we can have Santa Ana winds and mini heat waves into December. A little trick to make packaged mulch go further is to mix in the leaves that have fallen from your trees. Then lay the mixture around the base of each tree to retain nutrients, taking care not to pile them too close to the trunk.

When you water your trees during the period entering into dormancy, water the area from just outside the trunk to the extent of the longest branches. As a rule of thumb, use about 10 gallons of water per inch of tree diameter.

In regard to pruning during the dormant season, it’s actually a pretty good time of year to tackle the job. The dry ground and bare branches that we find on trees during the winter months makes it easier for arborists to access and inspect trees. In addition, pruning a dormant tree helps decrease the likelihood of disease spreading and harming the tree’s structure.

So if your trees need some trimming, give us a call. We’ll be busy all winter long making sure our customers can look forward to lush and healthy trees come spring.