Indeed, the colder days have arrived and we can no longer deny the coming of winter. As we get out the extra sweatshirts and hats, it’s also a good time of year to think about preparing our trees and landscapes for the long winter months. What can be done?
Pruning – Get your trees ready for winter by doing some preventative maintenance pruning on all your trees and shrubs. Removing the deadwood, diseased branches and hazardous limbs will minimize the risk of winter storm damage – at least predictable storm damage. While no one can anticipate the disastrous effects of an October snow storm, it is still valuable to do some pruning now so that whatever CAN be prevented, WILL be prevented.
Newly planted trees – Because they have not established extensive root systems yet, your newly planted tree faces some extra challenges in the coldest months of the year. Make sure to provide a 2-3” layer of mulch around the base of the tree, ideally, out to the drip line. *Don’t pile up mulch too close to the trunk* (See earlier blog post for more about that!)
Mulch – In addition to benefitting newly planted trees, mulch is useful to all trees and shrubs. A good layer of mulch helps insulate the soil, prevents damage to the trunk, and helps maintain moisture year round. In winter especially, the layer of mulch helps reduce the fluctuation of soil temperature.
Additional support – Some trees and shrubs, especially multi-stemmed varieties such as Arborvitae, can benefit from being lightly cabled together to help reduce snow damage. Unfortuanately, Arborvitae seem destined to collect snow and ice and split apart in more places than one. It is wise to hire a professional Arborist to put in cables, not only for proper installation but for the critical, follow up care that homeowners often forget about and may result in damage to the plant.
Lastly, and possibly quite obviously, it’s a good idea to take a walk around the yard with one of our arborists to assess the overall health of your trees and shrubs. So often when we at ArborTech are cleaning up storm damaged trees, it is obvious to us what the problem or structural defect was. As trained arborists we have the eyes and the know-how to spot defects and potential hazards ahead of time. Let the professionals help you prepare your trees and shrubs for winter. Contact ArborTech today! Next big snow storm, you’ll be glad you did.