Winter can take a toll on your plants. From salt damage to foraging animals, young trees are especially vulnerable and need extra care. Protecting new trees in winter is a vital step in their health and growth.
If you planted new trees in the fall, take steps to protect them in the winter so they can survive the harsh weather and flourish in the spring.
Prepare Your Young Trees Before Winter Sets In
Before winter even sets in, it is essential that young trees are correctly prepared for winter. This means fertilizing if necessary, watering, and adding a fresh layer of mulch. Watering is especially important in the health of young trees, as it helps them establish their root system, take vital nutrients from the soil, and reduces transplant shock.
Avoid Heavy Salting
When sidewalks freeze over in the winter, our first instinct is to put down a layer of salt to melt it. After all, you do not want someone slipping and falling on their way in or out. But if a young tree is nearby, avoid salting the area around it to prevent runoff that will damage the roots.
If you must salt, ensure that the tree has been planted in an area where runoff collects or close to roads and salt lightly and only where needed. It is also a good idea to plant salt resistant trees like white oak or ginkgo. Remember that though these trees are salt tolerant, that doesn’t mean they are immune. They can still suffer injury.
Wrap In Burlap Or Other Insulating, Protective Material
Wrapping the trunk of young trees with burlap will protect the bark from winter damage like sun scald and drying. More substantial protection may be needed if deer damage is common your area. Plastic trunk protection devices are sold at nurseries.
Stake Top Heavy Trees, If Needed
If your young trees are top heavy, it is a good idea to consider staking it to prevent them from toppling over in a strong wind. When staking, make sure the tree can move freely so it can build up trunk strength and use only material that is smooth and will not cause abrasions and girdling.
In fact, it is better to contact a professional arborist like Hansen’s to determine if your young trees need to be staked. If staked when it doesn’t need to be, a young tree can develop weak wood and bark systems.
Contact A Tree Care Professional
To ensure the health and vitality of your new, young trees contact a professional tree care company like Hansen’s Tree Service and schedule a plant health care appointment. Our staff of trained, ISA certified arborists will come to your home and consult with you as to the best treatment for your trees, based on their unique needs.