How to Take Care of Trees in the Winter Season

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The storms, ice and the fast changing temperature variations both above and below zero characteristics of winter weather in the United States can take their toll on trees throughout the country. Even for species native to chillier regions this is a difficult time.

And this is particularly real for the exposed and isolated trees that have been specifically planted in residential areas. Most of these problems are inescapable since we have no control over the weather and temperature flucutations!
However, there are a few things that you can do to lessen the damage caused by Mother Nature in the winter season.

  • Cold Stress

When mature trees experience extreme changes in temperature between the daytime and heat, and sub-freezing temperatures at night, the stress that is build up between the bark and the internal wood, can cause severe cracking, which is also knows as frost cracking.

What you should do

In many circumstances there is very little that can be done to prevent frost cracking. And in some cases, the tree is able to fix itself, although the broken location stays susceptible and subsequent breaking at the very same location can cause major damage.

When it comes to young trees, and trees such as palms and other tropicals, the tree owner may consider wrapping the bark as part of the fall upkeep treatment. And to even more prevent winter season damage in addition to decrease moisture loss, an application of Wilt Pruf can be very useful to help the tree retain moisture during those long, cold winter months.

  • Late Developement

Early frosts can play a detrimental part of growth, especially when the tree has suffered from cold stress. Late season tree development is vulnerable since it does not have the exact same time as recognized growth to get ready for cold. Ice crystals can burst the cell walls on the new pointers of branches forcing them to die off the following season.

What You Should Do

To prevent this, you should prevent pruning up until after the tree has entered into dormancy in the fall. Pruning too soon might encourage brand-new development and increase the risk of frost damage. Likewise, avoid using fertilizers with high amounts of quick-release Nitrogen. Trees can definitely gain from appropriate fall fertilization, but it is essential to know what to avoid.


  • Winter Dry Spells

Sometimes during the winter season, especially for evergreens, drying out can be a real issue. Winter season dry spell takes place when a tree loses more water than it can absorb from frozen ground and is specifically severe throughout the early spring when the ground continues to be frozen while the spring sun starts warming the remainder of the tree. Windy conditions can likewise get worse the issue.

What You Should Do
While there is no surefire option to prevent winter dry spells, you may have the ability to control the problem by laying down a thick layer of natural mulch around the base of the tree in late fall before winter season’s beginning. The mulch can help to slow moisture loss and runoff while working as a temperature level buffer for the roots.


  • Branch Damage

Branches are more vulnerable to damage throughout the winter. Particularly for deciduous trees, the wood hardens and ends up being somewhat more breakable and prone to wind damage. Then there is the problem of ice and snow build-up which affects both deciduous trees and evergreens alike.

What You Should Do
The key to minimizing branch breakage lies, once again, in good fall tree upkeep, especially pruning. Pruning weak and vulnerable branches and eliminating one limb of a pair sharing a deep “V” crotch can make the entire tree less prone.

One solution for extremely small trees and shrubs might be to cover the entire tree with a sturdy tent-like housing. And, for bigger evergreens, you may think about using rope to bind and strengthen branches.


  • Rodents

Throughout the winter season, trees can become a target for rodents foraging for scarce food. Apart from deers in the more backwoods, the two major offenders are mice and bunnies both which chew bark and can girdle trees. Squirrels can likewise become a problem.

trees can become a target for rodents


What You Should Do
To defend against mice, leave an area in between the mulch and the trunk of the tree and check regularly. If mice are showing to be an issue, you might need to think about setting out bait. Follow package instructions carefully. Rabbits can be discouraged by wire mesh enclosures. Industrial paint-on repellents are also readily available. Consult your local tree care service for information.