The winter season can wreck havoc on trees, bringing sub-zero temperatures, fast-moving winds, snow, and ice to landscapes throughout the country. While certain species are better protected against the cold than others, winter weather will affect all trees to some degree.
Prepare Your Trees for the Winter
Rather than waiting until the first winter cold snap hits, you should prepare your trees several months prior by ensuring they are given plenty of water and nutrition. Healthy trees will have a greater chance of surviving harsh winters than weak, malnourished trees.
It’s just that simple. If necessary, set up a sprinkler around your trees to hydrate them. You can supplement your trees with additional nourishment by adding fertilizer around the base.
Check the pH
There’s no better time than now to test the pH level of your soil. If it’s outside the normal, healthy range for your tree, add the necessary NPK nutrient to adjust it. Having your soil too acidic or with too much alkalinity will only add further stress to your trees.
Pruning Your Trees
Pruning is essential for both aesthetic and functional purposes. By pruning away dead or unwanted branches, shoots and leaves, your tree will be less susceptible to disease – and it will look more attractive. Many landscaping experts recommend pruning your trees throughout the year, including the winter.
Protect Your Trees from the Cold
Of course, the biggest winter threat to trees is sub-freezing temperatures. As the temperatures begin to drop, it can send certain species of trees into shock, possibly killing them in the process. So, what steps can you take to protect your trees from cold damage?
Applying 3-5 inches of mulch around the base of your trees will provide warmth and insulation from the cold winter weather. Mulch also offers the benefits of greater moisture retention, as it absorbs rain while slowly leaking it down into the tree’s roots.
For saplings and other young trees, you may want to invest in a tree blanket (yes, there are blankets made specifically for trees). Made of a synthetic waterproof fabric, it’s placed over the tree to create a shell-like barrier. It’s not going to offer much benefit for large trees, but it will certainly help for smaller varieties and saplings.
These are just a few simple things that homeowners and business owners can do to protect their trees from damage during the winter.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or