When winter winds whistle and you’re toasting yourself by the fire, don’t forget about your trees — they definitely need some preparatory love before Jack Frostbites.
In gratitude for the bountiful shade these leafy lovelies provide you all spring and summer, give your trees a leg up in their battle against winter’s worst weather. Here I have enlisted some easy tricks that you can do yourself to pamper your trees as part of your garden landscaping routine.
Offer your tall beauties a healthy start to winter by making sure they are clear of deadwood and are well-pruned for their species. If there are limbs or branches that may pose a danger to your home or walkways, trim, brace, or cable them to provide stability.
Repeated freezing and thawing can cause soil to expand and contract, which can damage roots and heave saplings out of the ground.
To maintain a more constant soil temperature, insulate roots, and slow moisture loss, add 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the tree in late fall or early winter.
Take care not to pile mulch directly against the trunk, since the base needs to “breathe.” Rather than applying it in a volcano shape, you want your mulch to more closely resemble a donut.
If you live where the ground freezes and stays frozen, wait to mulch until the ground has frozen, or else mice may take up residence in your cozy bed of organic material.
Water trees well throughout the autumn before the ground freezes, especially newly planted ones. Water acts as an insulator — and plant cells that are swollen with water will be stronger against cold damage.
Additionally, moist soil tends to stay warmer than dry soil, so this can help to protect roots, as well.
Wrap the Trunk
Warm winter sun can cause trunk cells to come out of dormancy and become active. But when temperatures drop below freezing again, active cells and conductive tissues are killed, causing an injury that may result in unsightly scarring.
To prevent sunscald, wrap trunks — especially those of saplings — in a light-colored crepe paper wrap. Wrap upward from the base of the trunk, overlapping layers by one-third. Wrap the trunk up to just above the bottom set of branches. Remove the paper when winter is over.
Healthy and Happy
Winter can be brutal on our landscapes. We can’t promise your forgotten succulents will survive the chill intact, but with a little care and attention, your trees will come out smelling like roses.
Er, well…. You know what we mean!
Prune, mulch, water, and wrap — just a few small preventative tasks that will help your trees survive the chilliest of seasons. Also, you can hire a Halifax landscaping company like Carlton Landscaping for the job for you with minimal effort and amazing results.
How do winterize your trees? Share in the comments section below.