The Northwest Treebune
   Fall 2010Landscape Color
In This Issue:
Fall Tree Care Tips
Tree Planting Season
Fall Leaves
Bounty of the Bough

Fall Tree Care Tips

There are many reasons that fall is generally the most ideal time to prune your trees including proper clearance judgment, preparation for winter weather and disease prevention.  Below are our recommendations for fall tree care.  Contact For The Love of Trees, LLC at (503) 515-9520 for a free estimate for any of these services. 

Maintain Proper Clearance
As a tree matures, lower branches can begin to encroach on our homes, driveways, streets and sidewalks.  In fall when limbs are long and leaves and fruit are heavy, the trees are closest to these surrounding features.  Pruning deciduous shrubs and trees during this time will allow the arborist to properly judge clearance from these features and other trees.  Remember that the trees in your right-of-way are your responsibility to maintain.  A minimum of nine feet of clearance above sidewalks and twelve feet above the ground for a road sign is recommended. 

Manage hedge size
Pruning your hedge at the end of the growing season will allow you to enjoy the pruned form of your hedge for the longest period of time before new growth occurs.

Remove hazardous wood
Fall is the ideal time to remove hazardous dead wood and weak branches that upcoming winter winds and ice could knock down.  Dead wood is most visible on deciduous trees before the leaves fall, as dead wood does not produce leaves.

Remove diseased wood
Our wet and cool spring has led to a high number of cases of Anthracnose throughout our area.  To prevent the spread of this fungal disease, remove the diseased branches and carefully rake all of the debris from below affected trees.  To prevent the spread, dispose of diseased clippings and fall leaves rather than composting them.   

Preventative pruning
Reduce potential winter storm damage with preventative pruning such as thinning to reduce wind resistance, removing weak crotches, heading back long branches and removing rubbing branches.

Clean up under your fruit trees
Picking up fallen fruit from below your fruit trees now will minimize pest problems in your fruit trees later.

Fall and Winter Are Tree Planting Seasons

Tree PlantingA Chinese proverb says "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.  The next best time is now."  Trees shade your home, beautify the landscape, prevent soil erosion and increase property values.  It takes many years for a tree to mature, so planting a tree now is a long-term investment in your home, community and environment.   

Planting the tree in the fall and early winter will give the tree a better chance to thrive on your property as it will have the winter for the roots to become established before the growing season.  Balled and burlapped and container trees are usually available in the fall.  To ensure that your tree has the best chance of surviving to maturity, follow the steps for proper planting of these trees below or contact For The Love of Trees, LLC for a free estimate for the planting.  Planting of bare root trees will be discussed in the Winter 2010 Treebune, as most bare root specimens are not available until that time.  Remember to locate your utilities before you dig.  Also keep in mind the final spread of the mature tree canopy in order to plant the tree half of the expected canopy distance away from any structures.  

Container Trees
Dig a hole twice the width of the container to a depth of the soil level at the root collar.   Tap the container around the sides to loosen the soil and carefully remove the tree and root ball from the container.  Loosen any coiled roots and cut very long roots with hand pruners.  Place the root ball in the prepared hole, ensuring that the root collar is above the soil level.  Backfill the hole with the removed soil, firming the soil with your hands as you work.  Water the newly planted tree.

Balled and Burlapped Trees
Dig the hole as above.  Remove all coverings and wrapping materials from the root ball.  Supporting the weight of the tree by the root ball, continue to follow the same planting process as described above. 

Mount Hood ColorFall Leaves

When the air turns cold in the Portland area around mid-September, the hillsides and neighborhoods turn a fiery gold, red and orange as the trees prepare for the dormant season.  As the ever-present green chlorophyll fades, the leaves' other pigments are visible and vary from tree to tree depending on temperature, species and sugar content. 

Best Views
Although our general fall color season is mid-September to mid-October, the best viewing location changes daily and up-to-date information can be found at the Oregon Fall Foliage hotline 1-800-547-5445 or blog.  Some local best bets for fall foliage are the South Park blocks and the Ainsworth Linear Arboretum along NE Ainsworth Street.  Breathtaking options further afield are the Columbia River Gorge, the West Cascades Scenic Byway and Highway 26 west to Seaside.

Your Leaves
As the leaves start to carpet your landscape, consider composting them or contact your local city Public Works department for pick up or drop off options to keep the leaves out of the streets and the sewers. 

Bounty of the BoughApples

Fall is harvest season in the Northwest for many of our prized tree fruits and nuts.  Apples, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, plums, figs and walnuts are all available locally at this time of year.  To find a tree fruit near you, check out the Tri-County Farm Fresh website.

Oregon supplies 99% of our nation's filberts, also known as hazelnuts.  The rich flavor of the nut of the corylus avellana L. tree, or common filbert, lends itself to many sweet and savory dishes.    Jossy Farms in Hillsboro has hazelnuts for sale at their farm in November.  You can find hazelnut recipes at their website so you can celebrate the harvest of Oregon's state nut in your favorite preparation.

For The Love of Trees, LLC

For The Love of Trees, LLC is a small local tree care business owned and operated by ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist Jeremy Fry.  We specialize in pruning and preserving trees for long-term health, safety and environmental sustainability.  We offer free estimates in the Portland metropolitan area.  Call or e-mail us today!

For The Love of Trees, LLC
(503) 515-9520