The winter season is all about snow, ice and cold weather. As your trees sit leafless and dormant in your yard, you might think tree care is not a priority for a few more months. But think again! The winter season is prime time to give your trees the attention they need to ensure they emerge at their best this coming spring.
Follow these winter tree care tips to keep your trees happy and healthy all year long:
- Remember to prune your trees now, especially oaks and elms, because diseases spread less in the winter. This is also a great chance to prune summer-flowering shrubs. The best pruning time is before April 1.
- Remove any dead, diseased or insect-infested trees from your property while the ground is frozen. This decreases damage to the site, soil and surrounding plants.
- Water your trees before the ground freezes. Keeping your trees watered will prevent winter damage that affects the health of the whole tree.
- Inspect your trees for weak or broken branches, especially after big storms. Make sure to bolt and cable any weak trees.
- Protect your trees from deer by using fences or applying deer repellant. When the ground has been covered and deer can't get to grass, they turn to your trees. To be effective, fences must be high and constructed properly.
- Treat evergreens, both broad leafed and conifers, with anti-desiccant spray to prevent them from drying out.
- Minimize the use of salt around trees for melting snow and ice, as it dries out roots, injures trees and causes browning. Wrap sensitive plants that are near the roadsides in burlap or use physical barriers to avoid salt exposure.
- Start thinking about your spring and summer landscape now, so you can purchase what you need and begin planting as soon as the ground thaws.
Proactive tree care in the winter time means your trees will be at their best during the spring and summer months. Keeping trees in good shape means they can live longer, healthier lives, while adding to the beauty of your landscape.
For more information on tree care, or if you have specific concerns about your trees, please contact your local arborist at 262-242-1274.