Even the strongest, oldest, most majestic trees need some help when harsh weather sets in. This is especially true when it comes to the most delicate part of the tree: the roots. If these valuable extensions are damaged during the winter months, it is likely the rest of the tree will suffer and perhaps die in consequence. Therefore, it is important to take all necessary steps towards preparing trees for winter.
Why are Roots so Sensitive to Cold?
In our last blog about sun scald, we discussed preparing trees for winter and how a tree enters winter hibernation can affect its health year-round. As it happens, not all parts of the tree go into dormancy at once. The roots are the last to shield themselves from winter, making them the most susceptible to cold weather and frost. In fact, most ecologists agree that some trees’ roots are the only part to continue growing while the rest of the tree is in hibernation. While it is important for a tree to continue absorbing water and expand their root systems regardless of the weather, the activity can lead to devastating consequences if the ground is not properly insulated.
Preparing Trees for Frost Heaving with Mulch
Frost heaving is when soil expands and contracts and the inconsistent pressure can damage roots. This phenomenon is a real risk in a moderate climate like Missouri. Temperatures in the area fluctuate, causing soil to constantly freeze and unfreeze. Even in climates with more consistently freezing temperatures, snow naturally insulates the soil and protects the ever-growing roots from frost heaving injury. Because you can’t rely on consistent snow cover in Missouri, roots are more vulnerable to ice and cold air.
Mulching is a safe and organic way to insulate the soil in moderate climates like Missouri’s. By preparing trees for winter with a layer of mulch, your trees’ roots will be safe from frost heaving fluctuations.
Hansen’s Mulching Service
Hansen’s has a wide selection of colors to compliment any home and lawn and our experienced staff can apply the correct amount of mulch to ensure your trees are kept warm and safe throughout the colder months. Contact us now to set up an appointment and save your trees before it’s too late.