Preparing Your Trees for Winter
While many people may not realize it, winter weather can take a significant toll on trees. While most homeowners choose to leave their trees alone during the winter months, taking a few simple precautions before the weather gets too cold can help you avoid unnecessary damage to your trees. The first step for winter tree care is to avoid any pruning until the fall. Pruning before the tree has gone into dormancy can cause the tree to grow, which increases the likelihood of frost damage. One of the biggest dangers to trees during the winter season is drought. Another important part of winter tree preparation is combating drought.
Trees undergo drought when trees lose an excessive amount of water and cannot absorb any new water through their roots because the ground underneath is frozen. To help mitigate this problem, try laying down a thick layer of high-quality, organic mulch around the base of the tree. Do this in the late fall season, before winter when the ground is already begging to freeze. Trees are also more susceptible to branch damage during the winter months. Pruning less hardy branches ahead of time can help with this. You may also want to consider removing one branch from a pair sharing a “V” crotch. It also may be worthwhile to tie up weak evergreen branches with rope.