Here is a compilation of top tips to care for your trees during winter
Trees are sensitive to the environmental and climatic changes that are specific to each season. During winters, trees go in a dormant mode i.e. they don’t grow and reproduce, but they still need to be protected from the harsh environmental factors. During winters, a lot of animals hibernate on trees and they may harm the tree structure. Young trees are especially affected by the intensity of the raw cold, chilly winds, and snow and sleet.
Hence, it is important to learn the basic tips to care for trees during chilly colds. Let’s take a look.
Pruning trees during winters prepares the tree for growth and reproduction during spring and summer. Pruning is recommended during the winter season because disease-causing organisms are dormant and the risk of the spread of disease is reduced. During winters, you can remove the undesirable branches and thin the canopy of the tree. This will give the tree a uniform shape and look.
- Mulch is usually made of organic components such as grass, hay, straw, sawdust, shredded newspaper, and kitchen scrap. It is recommended to apply a thin layer of mulch that piles up to 2 inches underneath the drip line of the tree. This is done to insulate the tree roots and the soil in which the tree has anchored from extreme weather conditions and gradual loss of moisture. To prevent the development of a mice colony underneath the mulch, apply the mulch after the ground freezes so the mice won’t be able to dig deep in the ground.
- Watering the trees during winters is not recommended as the water cannot get past the frozen ground and seep into the roots. To keep them hydrated, water the trees and young plants amply during the fall season. Remove the irrigation bags around the tree trunk before the first snowfall. Water again when winters are ending and the ground starts to thaw.
Wrap The Tree Trunks
- Winters take a toll on the tree trunks and lead to the development of cracks. What happens is that when temperatures drop, the tree trunk freezes especially during nights. On sunny days, the trunk thaws from the heat of the sun. This alternate freezing and thawing damage the tree cells and causes cracks in the trunk. This condition is known as sunscald.
To prevent sunscald, cover the trunks with a tree wrap that is made from crepe paper. Start from the bottom and move up till you reach a little above the lowest branch. Remove the wrap during the spring season. Another way to protect the tree trunk is by painting it in white color or wrapping it with a white plastic rabbit guard.
Protection From Animals and Rodents
- Young trees are prone to damage from rabbits and voles as they love chewing and gnawing the soft barks of growing trees. They attack outer and inner bark which exposes inner wood. If half of the trunk has been damaged due to gnawing, then the tree is likely to fall.
To prevent this from happening, do the following:
- Build a small cage with chicken wires around the young trees. This will also keep the deers away from rubbing their heads against saplings.
- Wrap the trunks with plastic guards at least past the snow line. Start by bottom and work your way up till you reach the snow line.
American Tree Experts Inc. provides tree pruning, cabling, bracing, and pest management services at affordable rates. Call us at 973-744-6091. We are located in Mont Clair, New Jersey.