Picking your own ripe fruit from your own fruit trees compares to nothing in the world. Homeowners in love with their orchards know that fruit trees don’t only offer them fresh and tantalizing produce to enjoy, but also a superb landscape of colored sweet gems and autumn leaves, in a symphony of shade and fragrance that is truly incomparable. And since fall is the season to pick most fruits and prepare the trees for winter, our tree service Dunlap, IL experts are here today to share some of their tips and expert advice on how to proceed in early fall to ensure your trees’ health and strength.

1. Pick the fruits carefully

Twist the fruits upwards and on the side to pick them or grasp them from the bottom, lift them upwards until upside down. Make sure that when you pick them the leaf spurs are not braking from the stem (which should remain on the picked fruit).

2. Water the Trees

Early fall may have come with some rain, but make sure your trees are well watered until mid to late fall so they can keep moisture and nutrients for the cold season. Ask your tree service Dunlap, IL experts to give you a hand with watering depending on the tree’s needs, soil type and current weather condition. As a general rule, your trees should receive 2-3 inches of water each time you irrigate them.

3. Rake the Leaves from Under Trees

If you leave fallen leaves under the fruit trees you will encourage leaf-borne diseases to stem and infect the trees – and when it comes to fruit ones, such diseases can prove fatal. By raking the leaves under the trees you will minimize the dangers of pest attacks and mice / rats / rabbits attacks which are by no means healthy for fruit trees.

4. Refrain from Fertilizing the Trees

If you have newly planted trees, the young ones will lack winter hardiness, as they will continue to grow. If the soil is healthy and watered and if you applied moist nutritious organic mulch in summer, your fruit trees won’t need early fall fertilization. In case you do want to boost their health and strength over the winter, talk to your local tree service Dunlap, IL experts and have them devise an organic fertilization plan for you – chemicals might prove dangerous for the trees, fruit and the quality of the crops.

5. Protect the Trees with Covers

Mulching the trees is not a new topic to discuss, but it is still very important to be reminded about. In early fall you can switch from a moister mulch to a harder one, composed of wood and bark chips. They will make the orchard look neat, clean and composed and will protect the trees against insects, weeds and small wildlife. Mulch also keeps the soil moist and protects it against winter cold. You can also install a landscape fabric cover underneath the mulch layer – but never use plastic as it will suffocate the roots’ system.