Read and discover 5 lesser-known winter tree dangers
Like humans, trees also need protection and special care during colder seasons. Trees that are exposed to harsh weather conditions sustain substantial damage. Maintenance during winter can help protect trees from winter damage. We have put together a list of winter tree dangers that can help you prepare in advance.
- Trees do not suffer damage from the cold as long as their dormant tissues remain dormant. However, the problem begins when the bark of a young tree is exposed to sunlight. The strong sun rays warm the young tree tissue and trigger localized activity. As the night falls, the temperature drops, causing non-dormant tissue to freeze.
Active cells are killed during this process, thus damaging the tree. This is known as sun scald and appears in patches of dead bark. Young trees are particularly vulnerable because they have a thin bark less resistant to extreme temperature changes. Sunscald is not only unsightly, but it can also make the tree prone to insects and diseases.
- The phenomenon that leads to sun scald is also responsible for damaging the evergreen tree leaves. Exposure to cold winter winds can cause desiccation damage to evergreen foliage. Newly planted evergreens are more susceptible to damage. Wrap your evergreens with burlap or shrub wrap to keep them nicely green.
Wind barriers and temporary screens are also helpful in preventing damage. Moreover, applying anti-desiccant to evergreen foliage can prevent moisture loss from the leaves during the winter. Help needle tissue and leaves stay optimally hydrated in the winter by watering the roots of evergreens in the fall.
Root Damage To Roots
- Extreme cold temperatures can be harmful to tree roots. As the soil temperature drops fairly low, the roots damage and eventually die. Moist soil holds heat better than dry soil. Therefore, it is better to water your trees properly in the fall. Mulch your trees before winter, and pay particular attention to young and shallow-rooted trees.
Frost heaving can expose the tree roots to cold air. Therefore, it is a good idea to lay a 2-4 inch layer of mulch under trees. Mulch will act as an insulator to protect the tree from cold. However, it is better to avoid mulching around the trunk. Otherwise, the mice may use it as shelter.
Damage From Snow
- The tree branches can easily bend or break under the weight of wet snow and ice. Knock excess snow from your trees by gently shaking the branches after heavy snow. Otherwise, it will freeze in hard clumps and cause the tree branches to break. The snow damage can be prevented by loosely tying up the branches during the winter.
- Wild animals such as deer and Bambi can feed on the twigs and bark of the young trees. Deer are particularly bold and cause significant damage in less time. Keeping wild animals away from your landscape can be challenging. Anti-deer fencing, motion-activated lights, or repellents help keep the animals away from your trees.
Holly, viburnum, spruce, and other deer-resistant tree species are helpful in areas where deer are plentiful. Furthermore, rabbits and rodents are a particular threat. They can quickly wrap a tree in one night because they love to gnaw on tender tree barks. Purchase tree guards or wraps to protect the trunks of young trees from rodents. The trunk wrappings should be removed in the spring.
Get Professional Help With Winter Tree Dangers
At American Tree Experts Inc., we offer the best services to keep your plants out of harm’s way. Our pest control services can help rid your trees of winter pests before their eggs can hatch in spring. Our other most sought services are pruning, bracing, pest management, and nutritional management. We offer services in Mont Clair, New Jersey. Call us at 973-744-6091 for a free quote.