Protect Tree Trunks
To prevent sunscald and frost cracking on young, thin-barked trees, such as maples, wrap the trunks with tree wrap or use white plastic protectors. These materials will reflect the warming rays of the sun so the tree bark doesn't heat up on winter days, only to be suddenly cooled when the sun sets and the temperatures plummet. The plastic protectors also prevent rodents from gnawing on the trunks, or you can wrap the trunks with wire mesh. Don't wait until after a deep snow falls or it will be hard to wrap the trunks all the way to the surface of the ground.
Make sure evergreens have a good deep watering before the ground freezes because they continue to respire, albeit slowly, during the winter. Protect young evergreens from wind damage during winter by wrapping them in burlap. If you use wooden protectors, it's not too soon to bring them out.
Don't Mulch These Plants
Some plants are better off without any mulch, especially in winter, when it can compact and encourage rotting of the crowns. These include coral bells, delphiniums, oriental poppies, iris, violas, and sedums.
Winterize Power Equipment
To keep this equipment functionally properly, take some time this fall to get it ready for storage. Wipe off any dirt and debris, then you can store with the fuel tank empty or full. Fill the fuel tank, add a stabilizer, then run the machine for about 10 minutes. Or empty the gas tank by running the machine or draining the fuel in a well-ventilated area. Disconnect the spark plug wires and remove the spark plugs. Pour a small amount of oil into the cylinder and turn over the engine several times. Then reinstall the spark plugs. Store in a dry location.
The most important thing you can do for your hand tools this fall is wipe them clean after use and before storing them for winter. Any moist soil left on the blades can encourage rust, and dirt can dull pruner blades. Also wipe wooden handles with linseed oil to keep them from splitting due to dryness.