Although trees are not in an active state during winter, it doesn’t mean we should stop caring for their welfare. Trees are still prone to hazardous elements such as animals, cold weather, and stress even when they lie dormant. For this reason, we should give them extra attention to preserve their health throughout the cold months. As a property owner, it is critical to know how to give your trees some protection during their inactive state. Proper tree care is essential year around.
Cover your tree’s base with a thin layer of organic mulch in early winter. Mulching is essential because it protects the tree from extreme temperature by insulating the soil. It also helps retain water and keep the soil intact. Do not mulch until the ground is completely frozen—you don’t want mice to use them as their home for winter. Finally, do not mulch directly to the tree’s trunk.
Trees need to drink water even during winter, particularly newly-planted ones. Keep your trees hydrated until the ground freezes. Take away any irrigation bags around the tree trunk before the temperature goes down. Water newly-planted trees if a warm spell thaws soil, mainly if your area experiences an extended drought.
The combination of wind and winter sun can result in drying situations for some species of broadleaf evergreens. You can spray anti-desiccant to cover their leaves and prevent moisture loss.
Bark cells can get fractured when the winter sun thaws it at day and the cold air at night freezes it again. The cracking of a tree’s trunks is a condition known as sunscald. You can protect your tree from this condition by wrapping the trunks with crepe paper tree wrap. Begin from the bottom part of the trunk, overlapping the layers, and stop just above the lowest branches. This condition often happens on trees located on the west or south of structures. Don’t forget to remove the wrap in spring.
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Young trees are particularly exposed to animals that love to gnaw on barks. For instance, rabbits and voles would start with the outer and inner bark, which leads to the exposure of the inner wood. A tree will most likely not make it if it’s damaged halfway around the trunk. Wrap the trunks with plastic tree guards from the bottom going up. Another way to protect the trunk is by enclosing them with chicken wires.
The weight of accumulating snow on a tree’s branch can result in breaking. Remove the snow by pushing the branches in upward motions. If there is ice on the branches, don’t try to break them manually. Instead, you can utilize a garden hose connected to a hot water faucet to melt the ice. Just be careful not to burn the plant in the process.
Trees are inactive in the winter. This is a great chance to conduct a thorough inspection and prune trees. Without the leaves, you can quickly locate problem branches and limbs. The risk of disease spread is reduced when you prune in the winter because the organisms and pests that carry the disease are also hibernating. If you are uncertain of the right way to prune your tree, it is best to call a certified arborist to get things done for you.