The weather has been on the wild side this winter, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to negative digits. While we cannot control the weather, we can take steps to protect our trees from unseasonable weather and early budding.
Early budding in trees can cause damage like dieback of new growth, leaf browning, and leaf drop. While the tree can bounce back, it may see less vigorous growth as a result. These symptoms can often be confused for blight or other diseases.
Here are four tips for limiting the long-term damage when trees bud early:
Water Your Trees, When Needed
Yes, watering your trees will help offset the damage caused by early budding! Water is essential in the health of your trees by transporting water and nutrients. A well-watered tree, especially in the fall prior to harsh winter temperatures, also ensures that chemicals in e tree that literally act as anti-freeze will be in position to reduce freezing of branches and buds. This is especially important if your tree is newly transplanted.
To prevent overwatering, check soil moisture with either your finger or a screwdriver. If it is hard or comes out dry, give your tree some water.
If The Ground Isn’t Frozen, Put Down A Layer Of Mulch
If the ground isn’t frozen, putting down a mulch layer around your trees will insulate the roots and protect them against freezing temperatures. This will also help the tree retain much-needed water, as frozen roots will not move water and nutrients. This can lead to root tissue death and freeze damage to above-ground twigs.
Fertilize In The Spring
Fertilizing in the spring can assist in helping your trees recover from the stress of an early bloom and get them to resume normal growth. Before you do so, perform a soil test to determine your soil needs. Over-fertilization can result in unhealthy growth and burning. Always follow fertilizer directions carefully and use best fertilization practices.
Get Your Trees Professionally Pruned
Sometimes there is too much emphasis on the “best” time to get your trees pruned. If your tree is experiencing dieback, get this pruned away by a professional. This will promote healthy growth and ensure that your tree doesn’t waste energy.
Before taking action, consult with an ISA-certified arborist at Hansen’s Tree Service. They will perform a tree assessment to diagnose your trees and prescribe the best treatment for its needs.