Five Tips for Proper Fall Tree Management

Planting trees when they are dormant helps assure good root establishment

Anderson Township has suffered the loss of many trees due to invasive insects and storms. If you are replacing a tree that has died, or just adding some new interest and shade to your landscaping, consider planting this fall so your tree’s roots can get established while the tree is dormant in winter. 

Anderson Township hosts a committee, the Anderson Township Tree Committee, focused on protecting township trees and tree maintenance. They offer the following tips for homeowners. 

1.Plant the right tree in the right place. Do you have room for a large shade tree (oaks are best for many reasons), need a small flowering tree or want privacy or wind protection? Understand how big a tree will grow and consider the space where you are planting it. 

2. The smaller a tree is when planted, the faster it will establish and grow. A smaller tree will have less transplant shock and a higher survival rate. Smaller trees are more economical, easier to move and plant. Local nurseries have a good selection. Avoid the temptation to plant the biggest tree you can. A 5-gallon container tree will catch up to a 15-gallon container tree within three to five years or less. 

3. Mulch is good but avoid “volcano mulch” around the trunk of a tree of any size or age. Provide a three-foot diameter ring of mulch around trees, but do not mulch against the trunk. 

4. Water a newly planted tree carefully, especially for the first three years as the roots get established. With good rains locally over the past two summers, drought has not been a big issue. However, even mature trees should be watered slowly and deeply, especially during droughts. Sprinklers used for grass typically do not provide enough deep, soaking water for trees. 

5. Protect your existing trees or newly planted trees from deer damage by using plastic mesh deer tree guards available at local tree nurseries or wire fencing with metal posts.

Corrugated pipe is not recommended or should be removed in the spring and summer. 

General tree-related resources can be researched at:

Arbor Day Foundation:

Ohio Division of Forestry; Ohio Common Trees:

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens: