Winter is a time when your trees are dormant. While your trees may not be active, you should still be. This is a critical time in the health and care of your trees, as winter is filled with hazards that could damage them.
Here are 6 tips for getting your trees ready for the coming spring and prevent damage this winter:
Keep Them Watered
Watering prevents trees such as evergreens from drying out and can help flush salt away from the roots if salt has been used to remove ice and snow.
Prevent Sun Scald
Fluctuating winter temperatures can damage your tree through sun scald, or southwest injury. This injury occurs when cold temperatures at night and in the morning, the sun warms the tree before temperatures plummet again at night. This causes the trunk to freeze again, killing the warmed cells in the tree.
Symptoms include cracked, split bark, and fissures in the trunk. Sun scald can be prevented by wrapping the tree in burlap insulated with straw. Remember to remove the wrap with the season changes to prevent pests and disease.
Prevent Winter Damage
One of the best ways to get your trees ready for the spring is to take steps to prevent winter damage early. This includes:
- Sun scald
- Salt damage
- Broken branches
- Soil heaving
So be sure to mulch your trees, only salt when needed, and prune broken branches. When pruning, always contact a professional ISA-Certified arborist. They have the skills, knowledge, and protection to safely remove limbs from trees.
If you haven’t already, you should have laid down a layer of mulch to keep the soil around your tree’s roots a constant temperature. This will prevent the tree from “waking up” after it has gone into dormancy, as well as prevent soil heaving.
Apply the mulch correctly to prevent excess moisture, air barriers, and rot.
Winter is one of the best times to manage pests as they are dormant and more vulnerable to preventive treatments such as horticultural oils. Investing in this routine tree care may result in fewer pest treatments come spring.
Always consult with a professional, ISA-Certified Arborist at Hansen’s Tree Service about the best methods of tree care, including pest management.