Steps to Prepare and Protect Your Trees for Winter
Trees planted in your yard provide cooling shade in the heat of summer, a place for wildlife to live, and beauty to your yard. When winter arrives, don't forget and neglect your trees, as they need to be prepared for and have protection from winter's weather. Here are some recommended steps to protect and keep your trees healthy through the winter.
Prune and Trim Branches
Each fall is a good time to check your tree for the health of its branches and to look for any potential damage that could occur to your tree over winter. Large heavy branches that grow above your home can pose a threat to you if the branch were to break off in a storm. Dead branches that don't have any leaf growth may also break off and fall, especially if your region encounters ice storms.
Talk to a tree professional about trimming your tree to remove dead and excess branches. This improves the appearance of your trees and reduces the chance of them losing a limb during extreme winter weather. Your tree professional will know whether it is best for the health of the tree to remove excess branches or to leave them and brace them up for added strength. This can also depend on the type of trees you have in your yard and their age.
You should continue to water your trees until the ground is frozen and they go into dormancy for the winter season. Watch the condition of your lawn to see when your lawn goes into dormancy as well, which will give you a good idea of how long you should continue to water both. If your tree is newly-planted, watering is especially important, as its roots are still growing and becoming established in the soil.
The more water your tree's roots have, the better they will be insulated against the cold, especially as wet soil stays warmer than dry soil. Additionally, tree roots that are swollen with water will be better able to withstand frost damage.
Protect the Tree's Base and Trunk
The base of your tree and its trunk need to have added protection from winter weather. When the ground freezes, you should add a layer of mulch around the base of your tree—but make sure the mulch is not touching the tree's trunk. This will help insulate the soil and keep it at a constant temperature, so your ground does not freeze and thaw each day and cause stress and damage to your tree's roots.
For more information on how to take care of your tree during the winter, speak with companies like Joshua Tree & Landscape Co.