Winter Tree Care

Cold weather can have a largely negative impact on trees. Even those that are native and used to colder regions can have difficulty dealing with the climate. These problems may come in many forms and situations, but each of them can be prevented or lessened in some way- all you have to do is know how.

Preventing Cracks On Bark

A sudden change into cold weather may affect a tree’s outer appearance, by causing cracks in the bark or harming the ends of branches. A quick transition from hot to cold climate, especially in the transition from daytime to night, will cause these cracks between the inner and outer wood. This is difficult to prevent, as it is a common occurrence that happens with the rapid change of weather. But many tree-owners have found that wrapping trees in special cold-weather blankets can keep them from cracking further- especially when they are young and weaker. The tips of a tree’s branches breaking can be caused by a sudden late growth in the tree during cold weather. This occurs because the tree is not entirely prepared for the freezing climate, but grows anyway. One simple way to prevent this from affecting the tree’s branches is to use fertilizers that don’t have a quick release, as well as to wait until the tree’s dormancy to prune it.

Prune to Maintain Health

The process of pruning a tree can affect the way it adapts to cold weather immensely. Maintaining the pruning of your tree contributes to its beauty and health– looking its best, while also keeping its limbs intact disease-free. Pruning in winter may not seem ideal because of the cold weather, but because all of the leaves have fallen, it actually becomes easier to see the shape of your tree. Doing it this early in preparation for spring can also help to prevent the many diseases that can affect your tree during warmer seasons.

Winter Tree Care

Identify If Rodents Are Present

The change from warm to cold weather certainly has a large impact on trees, but there are other aspects of this season to watch out for. As food is harder to find in the winter, rodents and small animals may turn to chewing and girdling the trees. To prevent this, leaving a space between your fertilizer and the base of the tree can tell you if rodents are being a problem. Then you can go about laying down mesh, wire, or other things that will keep them from bothering the tree.

In General

Keeping up the health and maintenance of your trees in winter may seem difficult at first. But if you take enough precautions and prepare for the cold weather, any major problems can be easily prevented and dealt with. In the first place, make sure you’ve done research on what your specific tree needs when it comes to cold climate, and if you plan on buying any new ones, only purchase those native to your area. Then be sure to put down a fertilizer specific to fall and winter, as well as any metal or mesh to keep out rodents. And overall, continue to inspect your trees throughout the season for any damage, keeping them healthy and durable until spring arrives.

Miles Lefler is a certified arborist and spends his work time consulting with people about caring for their landscape and home gardens. Maintaining your Texas tree during the summer can be difficult especially during the drought season, but Miles has a few tips to keep your trees happy all year round.

Leave a Reply