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As the cold temperatures creep in, you might be wondering how you can take care of the trees in your yard. Unlike many another living things, plants and trees can’t take shelter and keep warm. On their own, trees take steps to prepare themselves for cold temperatures. From keeping their cells from freezing to shedding leaves to conserve water. But how you care for them prior to and during winter can make a big difference! Here are 3 tips to protect the roots, trunks, and branches of your trees when freezing temperatures set in…

Care for the Roots

  • Hydrate – You should water the soil around the tree until the first freeze. This allows the roots to store enough water to last throughout winter. Typically, you do not have to water your trees during the season but in some scenarios it might be necessary to do so.
  • Insulate – If the soil gets too cold (15 degrees Fahrenheit or below), it can damage your tree’s roots. In areas where it snows, the blankets of snow on top of the trees often serve as insulation to keep the root systems warm. However, if you don’t receive much snow, it is important to mulch around the base of your tree.
  • Beware Ice Melting Salt – Salt is great for keeping us from sliding on icy roads or slipping on sidewalks during the winter but it can be damaging to trees and other plants. Salts made with sodium chloride are known to dry out the roots and change the structure of the soil, so you should look for salt that is based with calcium chloride.

Protect Your Tree Trunks

  • Avoid Sun Scald – Not every winter day comes with freezing temperatures. When warmer days lead to cold nights, trees can get scalded by the sun. This occurs when the tissue beneath the bark heats up during the day and freezes rapidly overnight. To avoid sun scald, wrap your tree trunks with a plastic tree guard.
  • Keep the Deer Away – Deer use tree trunks to smooth out their antlers which can severely damage the tree. If you’ve noticed a tree with large chunks missing from the trunk, it is likely that deer have used that tree to smooth their antlers. To protect your tree trunks, you can wrap them with a plastic tree guard or build a barrier.

Keep Branches & Foliage Safe

  • Prune Your Trees – Winter is the ideal time to prune dead or broken branches. In doing so, you are remove weaker branches that may not be able to withstand the harsh winter weather. This will also lead to a more beautiful blossom in the Spring.
  • Don’t Let Snow Pile – When snow piles on your tree branches, it can cause them to droop which may lead to broken branches as they weaken. Not only can this hurt the tree but it could be quite dangerous for yourself, guests, and pets. Use a broom to gentle brush off snow. You should never shake branches to remove snow as this can lead to breakage.
  • Don’t Sweat the Ice – If your tree branches have become coated in ice, let it be. Ice is thick and can be difficult to remove which could potentially cause you to damage your branches instead of help them. Allow the ice to melt and contact an arborist to inspect the tree when Spring rolls around.
  • Prevent Winter Burn – Evergreens often have winter burn when the tree needles lose moisture and their roots fail to hydrate the tree because they can’t absorb water from the soil. This leads to dried out, brown evergreen needles so water, mulch, and wrap your evergreens base in burlap.

Presentable Landscaping Can Help You With Pruning, Trimming, and Caring for Your Trees, Shrubs, and Plants

Many home and business owners are intimidated by the possibility of damaging their plants and trees. We have vast experience in pruning your trees, shrubs, and bushes so let us handle the task for you.

Contact us (859-640-0657) for a free consultation!

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