How to Prepare Your Trees for Winter
Winter can be a rough time of year for your trees. While some trees are more vulnerable to the elements than others, heavy rains, severe winds, snow storms, and other winter elements can take a big toll on trees. When you know storms are on their way, it can be especially important to take the right precautions to ensure fallen tree branches won’t become hazardous in strong winds and other storm conditions. Prepare your trees for winter weather this year, be sure to take these easy steps for winter tree protection.
Basic Steps to Winter Tree Protection
One of the first things you should do when leaves start falling off trees is check each tree for encroaching vines. Ivy or even flowering plants like clematis or honeysuckle can increase the danger to trees in the winter. These vines can add to the overall weight supported by the dormant branches. They can also result in much more trapped snow or ice, which can lead to limb breakage. Cut down the vines before the ground freezes to limit the risk to your trees.
Making sure your trees receive proper water and fertilization during the spring, summer and fall can ensure they’re ready to face the winter. Proper mulching can also protect roots during freezing weather, especially for new transplants. Regularly pruning dead branches or extra growth can keep trees thriving.
How To Protect Newly Planted Trees From Frost
Recently transplanted trees or seedlings need extra care for their first winters. Many people plant trees in the fall. The roots won’t have much time to establish before winter. Several inches of appropriate mulch for the species of tree can help. So can installing guards or braces to keep the tree upright until spring.
New transplants that don’t drop their leaves early in the fall could be at increased risk for breakage or death. Certain species lose their leaves later than others. This can lead to increased ice and snow loads and more wind resistance in storms. Willows, box elders, poplars, Bradford pears and silver maples are commonly still covered in leaves when snow starts. You may need to wrap these trees in burlap to protect them during the winter.
Preventative Pruning to Prevent Storm Damage
Structural defects, such as dead wood, dead branches, decay or substantial cracks, are likely at higher risk for storm damage. Dead wood can easily break off, so trimming back dead and dying branches protects the tree and your property. As such, preventative pruning before storms is another good step to take to prevent damage to homes, power lines, cars, and anything else as a result of fallen branches. By preventatively moving dead or flimsy branches before a storm, this can stop them from being blown around during a storm. Talking to a certified arborist or getting a free tree evaluation to find out of your trees could be a hazard in the storm can help prevent long term damage to your home and property.
Additionally, big cracks in trees need to be carefully inspected. Cracked branches may need to be trimmed. Decay, which can make a tree hollow, can compromise a tree. However, even hollow trees with advanced decay can grow and thrive. In this scenario, having a professional examine the tree is your best option.
With a little care and planning, your trees can thrive in any season. To learn more about our services or to bring a certified arborist to your area, visit our website today!