Getting Ready For Fall

  • Added:
    Oct 14, 2012
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In past articles, I’ve covered a few very key topics about the right tree to select for a yard and how to care for it. In this one, I’m going to do things a little differently. As we enter fall officially, there are some other things that need attention.

A mechanic can’t fix a car without all of his tools to hand and in good working condition. It’s the same with your yard. You can’t properly take care of it unless you have your tools to hand and properly maintained.

It may seem obvious, but it is very important. We go through it every year at my tree nursery company. Come late summer our attention turns to tidying up the nursery. And it’s actually pretty similar to some of the basics that any homeowner has to do. Let’s look over a few key steps.

First is the servicing, readying or purchasing of needed equipment. For us this sometimes includes some heavy duty stuff--like a new semi truck for tree transportation when we have to transplant a tree (not a common item for households, I know!). Homeowners may want to spruce up spades, shovels, sprinkler systems, etc. Mundane things like making sure the shovel doesn’t get left in the yard somewhere and snowed under, or addressing the fact that this was done last year and now you have a very rusty shovel. Survey the equipment you have to hand, make sure it is sufficient for your basic yard maintenance, and make sure it is in good condition.

Then there are the aesthetics projects - -brush management, yard maintenance, landscaping, etc.  Whether you have a small lot in the city or a large lot with a lot of acreage, sometimes similar jobs need to be done and improvements can be made. A well trimmed landscape is more attractive and better for all of the vegetation in the yard.

Fall can be a very good time of the year for enhancement projects—perhaps putting a new tree in the yard, since fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree. Maybe you want to make some changes that will invite in more wildlife. Some of these are simple and enjoyable to do yourself. For larger projects—large tree planting or tree transplanting, intricate landscaping or hardscape work—it is sometimes necessary to get proper guidance from experienced tree installation specialists or landscapers. Don’t be shy about using an expert when necessary. It can take the worry out of the project and save you money in the long run.

Fall is also a good time to take into account fire safety inspections, etc. In some parts of the country, fall is the main fire season. The codes you have to follow or inspections you might be subject to varies greatly depending on the area you live in. You can and should research what the codes are if you are in an area where you might be affected by this.

Your yard and the tools you use to take care of it require some care. If you take the time to do so--to research the necessary steps and put them into action, I guarantee you’ll be happy with the end result. And so will your yard.

Author's Profile

Nancy Latham is owner of Big Trees Inc. ( in Snohomish, WA, one of the largest Seattle tree nurseries (see inventory at, specializing in tree transplanting. Visit us at

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