Winterize Your Trees
As the fall winds down and winter begins to set it, it is the time of year to start making preparations for the cold. Though you probably already do a fall cleanup for your lawn, be sure that you do not forget to include your trees in your checklist. Taking care of this now will help to ensure not only that your trees stay healthy and safe throughout the winter, but that they are flourishing and as beautiful as possible come spring time. Here are a few simple tips to guide your thinking as you consider what your trees need for winterization this fall.
Ideas for winterizing your trees
Just like you would for any other plant, pruning a tree can help to make room for new growth and improve overall health. Removing any unhealthy or damaged pieces of a tree is a great idea, though this is often quite difficult to do properly without the help of an expert. Another thing to look out for is the presence of foliage or limbs drooping down to touch the soil below. This can actually create an opportunity for certain types of harmful insects and pests to gain access to the tree.
Covering the soil surrounding the tree with several inches of organic composted mulch can function in many positive ways. This layer can act nicely as a buffer, evening out extreme fluctuations in both temperature and moisture levels. It also protects sensitive feeder roots and is a great way to ensure that nutrients are available at all times close to the roots. It is almost as if you are wrapping up the ground the way you might wrap yourself up for the winter (except your sweaters hopefully lack both nutrients and moisture).
If you live in a region with cold, windy and long winters, you may want to consider wrapping or covering your tree. You can either cover the entire tree with a protective burlap tree cover, or you can wrap the trunk in tree wrap plastic. Trees are a wonderful addition to any landscape. A small amount of planning and care is an investment that will yield a big return next season.
Turn to a professional
Unfortunately, it is oftentimes not obvious to the untrained eye which trees and which specific limbs are going to be problematic over the winter. And, even if it is, tree trimming itself is usually going to be a job done much better by professionals. It is a good idea to schedule an inspection with a professional tree service so they can take a look at your situation and give you an opinion on how your trees will do if left alone during the winter. They will be able to expertly prune and trim problematic limbs, which can serve to improve the overall structural stability of a tree, create a nicer shape, encourage more full spring growth, prevent storm damage, and even discourage cold-weather diseases and insects from causing harm.