Winter has arrived and your trees and shrubs have gone dormant for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, this does not mean they are no longer at risk of disease, damage, or other threats. Instead, the winter season brings new threats to your trees and shrubs, which can do serious damage if protective measures are not put into place.
Trees and shrubs experience the effects of winter just like we do. The freezing cold wind, snow, and ice are stressful on your trees and shrubs, so knowing how to best protect them is a must. So, here are the keys to winter tree and shrub care. By utilizing these tips not only are you protecting your trees now but also you are preparing them to thrive in the springtime.
By cutting away dead, overgrown, and/or unhealthy branches you are promoting fast and healthy growth in the spring. Here are some of the many benefits to winter pruning:
* Because the tree is dormant, it is easier to locate, identify, and remove the problem branches
* Winter pruning prevents the spread of diseases to other parts of the tree, as the diseases are also dormant
* New growth is stimulated, which improves the overall health (and look) of the tree
* By clearing away unnecessary branches you are allowing sunlight, oxygen, and other essential nutrients to get to the crown of the tree
Two of the biggest threats your trees and shrubs are facing this winter are extreme temperatures and water loss. One of the best ways you can combat these threats is by adding a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs. The soil works as an insulator that protects the roots from the cold temperatures, and as a result, from water loss.
Cold winds and sunscald are two more threats facing your trees and shrubs. Sunscald is the result of the tree bark freezing, and then thawing (from excessive sunlight), which can cause permanent visible damage. Combat these threats by gently wrapping your trees and shrubs. Also, there are other benefits to wrapping as well, which include pest prevention, damage from animals (deer, rabbits, etc…), and damage caused by salt/snow removal.
The weight caused by heavy snowfall can cause problems for your trees and shrubs if it is not carefully removed. Excessive amounts of snow can cause branches to break, which can expose the tree and shrubs to a number of problems. If the snow is bearing down, gently remove it by pushing it upwards from the tree.
Remember, light snowfall does not need to be removed. If there is ice on your tree as well as snow, do not remove the snow as that can easily result in the frozen branches breaking.
At Colonial Lawn and Garden we understand the value your trees and shrubs place on your property. And we understand that you’ve invested your hard earned time and money into their health and appearance. That’s why we want to help you protect them.