For most plants and trees, the cold winter months are a time of dormancy with little growth or activity. The threat of frost and a lower intake of resources means property owners should consider taking a few extra steps to protect their trees during this part of the year. This season is also a golden opportunity for pruning to preserve long-term health or guide future growth.
1. Plan to Prune
Winter is usually the best time of year for serious pruning activity, so it’s a good idea to plan your pruning for this time of year. Less foliage on the branches means you can see diseased or damaged growth more easily. Minimal circulation also reduces the risk of further injury or infection of the tree at the cut sites.
2. Make the Most of Fall
Winter is a difficult time for some plants, especially younger ones that haven’t become established. That’s why you need to make the most of the weeks leading up to the first frost by ensuring your trees are properly watered and nourished. This season is when trees stock up on many of the nutrients they need to carry them through winter.
3. Add Some Mulch
Mulch is an easy and natural way to insulate plant roots and provide an extra layer of protection from cold and frost. A thin layer of about two inches is usually enough to insulate the base of the tree. Even a small amount of mulch can stabilize soil temperatures throughout the day and can save the life of younger plants.
4. Wrap and Insulate
Younger trees, recent transplants, and those that are particularly sensitive to cold weather can benefit from additional wrapping and insulating beyond mulch. Framed burlap coverings are a simple and effective form of insulation, but there are plenty of other options available. The goal of insulation in general is to trap some of the earth’s natural warmth and moisture inside to help keep the plant and surrounding soil from freezing.
5. Avoid Salt and Chemicals
Salts and other chemical ice treatments are often an effective way to treat sidewalks and pavement, but they can be deadly for trees. It’s best to avoid these treatments when possible in any area that might run off toward your trees. Of course, prioritizing the safety of people traversing the area should always be the first priority.
Tree Care for Any Season
Tree care is a year-round affair, whether you are guiding new growth in the spring or preparing your plants to weather the cold winter months. Turbo Tree Care offers professional trimming and pruning services for any season throughout our Sterling Heights, MI service area.