Winter is quickly approaching and now is the perfect time to make new habits when it comes to your winter tree care. While your tree sheds its leaves and prepares for another dormant season of life, proper tree care from the owners is crucial. Follow these winter tree care tips to help your trees thrive after winter!
Something that may slip the everyday homeowner’s mind during winter, your tree still needs to be watered! Just like hot weather and lack of water in the summer, the dry and cold weather of winter can also adversely affect roots if they don’t receive enough water.
To help prevent your tree’s roots from becoming hard and brittle, water your trees a few times throughout the month when it’s above 40°F. Be sure and water the trees from the trunk to the dripline. A tree’s dripline is the ground under the ends of the branches. Another watering tip, try and water trees in the morning to help protect against nighttime freezes!
Another issue to be aware of is sunscald! Sunscald occurs when sudden drops in temperature happen, think a typical winter night, and the tree is left with dried, cracked and shrunken bark. Thankfully, sunscald has an easy prevention method. Take a lighter colored cloth or tree wrap and wrap the tree to reflect the sunlight. This solution will help prevent sunscald by keeping trees at a constant temperature day after day and night after night! Homeowners could also take this time to bring a little holiday spirit to their tree wraps and turn them into to decorations, such as making the tree wrap looking like a present!
Wrapping a tree to help prevent sunscald insulates the trunk, but what about the roots! Proper insulation for your roots helps create a barrier between tree roots and the cold. One easy way to create a barrier is to mulch around the tree’s base. Try not to have mulch directly touching the tree trunk and apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around your tree. Avoid a mulch volcano which can leave a tree more susceptible to infestation and decay from excess moisture. If you do have a volcano, simply redistribute the mulch! You can check out more mulching tips here.
Another important winter tree care component is pruning! It’s extremely beneficial for your tree if you help it get rid of its sick or dead limbs. Read our tree trimming tips and safety post before you decided to make a single cut!
Depending on your region, winter can actually be a great time to plant new trees. New roots need to be nourished and get established quickly so they don’t fall victim to freezing. Using a fertilizer blend with Aqua 3-IA during planting can help produce a larger root mass to absorb nutrients and water. Keep in mind, watering, sunscald prevention, insulation and tree trimming are just as important for a new tree’s winter tree care as they are for established ones. If you are unsure what fertilizer to use or when to fertilize, consult a local arborist to help you plan your fertilization schedule.
With these winter tree care tips, your trees should be full of life and ready to prosper by spring!