With winter and snowfall around the corner, and all the leaves on the ground, your work with your trees is not finished. Winter can take a toll on your trees, and if you don’t pay attention to them, this can cost you your landscaping or even more – overloaded tree limbs can snap and cost thousands of dollars of damage, or even injury.
Water and Warmth
Prior to cold weather coming in, prepare your trees for the low temperatures. With little in the way of other trees and shrubs to break up the wind and cold, trees being used for landscaping need to be treated differently. Wrapping their trunks in burlap strips can help to keep the bark protected from wind and critters that can damage it. This is particularly important for younger trees, who are more susceptible to damage.
We don’t think of drought and cold weather going hand-in-hand, but it happens quite often. If you haven’t watered the tree in the fall, you’ll need to be alert throughout the winter for lengthy periods of time without water. One method that helps with both water and warmth is to put down a thick layer of mulch before winter, piling it up around the base of the trunk.
Take a Load Off
The worst thing during winter is when ice and snow begins to coat tree branches. This can be damaging to the trees, and dangerous for the surrounding area. Knock the snow off using a broom, being careful not to snap off branches.
Should a branch sag or break, make sure to remove the sagged branch with a handsaw, creating a clean wound that will heal better. If a branch breaks, make sure to remove it – a broken branch sitting in a tree can cause further damage to the tree and will be hazardous to pedestrians. Again, make sure to clean up the wound so that the tree can heal more easily in the spring. Nasty weather has already hit hard this winter, and things are bound to get worse, so keep an eye on your trees and, in the case of severe damage, contact a professional arborist.
Perfect Time for Trimming
Some trees go dormant during the winter, and this is the perfect time to get the shears out. When the trees are not producing flowers or fruits, and the leaves have fallen off, it is easy to get into the branches and see which ones are damaged and require pruning. Cut the branches strategically, working from the bottom to the top. Also make sure to undercut when removing larger branches that could split and damage the trunk.
By paying attention to your trees throughout the winter, you can ensure that they come back healthy, green, and flowering when spring comes back around.