The trees and plants in your yard may thrive while they are blooming and growing through most of the year but, when winter hits it is a completely different story. Don’t let the magic of winter be the death of your trees.
While you are winterizing the inside of your home, don’t forget about the outside. Check out these tips from the professional arborists on caring for your trees in the fall.
Snow Covered Trees in Winter
After a major snowfall when everything is covered in a blanket of fresh white snow, the trees look absolutely majestic and completely different than they do at any other time of year.
Though it might look like magic, ice can weigh an astounding amount. It does not take much to build up half an inch of ice, yet this thickness can weigh down your tree branches with hundreds of pounds of excess weight.
Snow is lighter in weight, but of course, adds a few extra pounds as it layers up. Weak branches or young branches can often not withstand the burden that winter puts on them and can present a danger of falling on a person, animal, or property and doing major damage.
Avoiding Winter Damage
What damage can be done by trees in winter? Also, what damage can be done to trees in winter?
Avoiding winter damage to and from trees is important to think about in the months leading up to the winter season. Late summer and autumn is the best time to assess the health of the trees in your yard.
Neglecting to have your trees pruned, or dead trees removed before the winter storms hit can result in costly damage to your home, yard, or to your trees.
The reduction in rainfall, less sunlight, the drop in temperatures, the freezing ground, and the weight of snow and ice on the branches can all harm your trees. For these reasons, it is important to take the proper precautions to keep your trees healthy and alive in the winter.
Prune Trees in Winter
The act of pruning means trimming back select branches and areas that are dead, unhealthy, heavy, or preventing the plant from further growth. Proper pruning is a way to prepare the tree for the winter months and will allow a healthy growth spurt to occur when spring has sprung.
Pruning trees should be done with a sharp tool called pruning shears, or a set of clippers. This process can also be done with a hand saw or chainsaw.
Pruning should be done to protect trees from becoming damaged or dying in a winter storm. But, it can also be the cause of their death.
For best results, contact a professional arborist or tree service to have them prune your trees.
Remove Dead Trees
The trees in our yard provide shade, esthetics, a place for wildlife to live, and fresh air for us. However when a tree has come to the end of its life whether it has become infected or is just age-old
Removing dead trees is a dangerous job and one that should be left up to the professionals. Cutting up dead trees piece by piece, or pulling down all in one go takes precision, knowledge and a lot of calculations to get it right and to keep everyone safe, and prevent property damage.
Choosing the Most Resilient Trees
If you are starting from scratch or in the market to purchase new trees for your yard there are better choices that you can make than others. Depending on the local climate and the esthetics you are going for, certain trees can thrive in all seasons and serve your needs.
Obviously, tropical plants like palm trees are not meant for cold climates and may die if they are put through a winter storm. However, cedar and evergreen trees love the cold weather and should have no problems thriving in cold climates.
If you live in an area where the leaves change color on the trees and fall foliage is an exciting part of autumn then maybe go for a maple, oak, aspen, or dogwood tree to get the best color pop in the fall.
Protection From Animals
In the winter the food supply is very limited for the wildlife that has not gone into hibernation. Hungry animals will often go after the only thing that is alive in the winter, and that is the trees.
Protect your trees from scavaging animals by wrapping the trunks of the trees with tree wrap. This product comes on a roll and can be secured with twine or pins to keep it from falling off.
The rule of thumb is to wrap your tree trunks from Thanksgiving to Easter to keep animals away, but allowing the tree to breathe and start growing again when spring arrives.
Substitute the nutrients they would have gotten from your trees with other feed such as birdseed sprinkled around or fill up a feeder for them to feed off of.
Get to the Root Issue
We have covered enough about the trunk and branches of your trees, but what about the roots? Just because they are hidden away underground does not mean that they are safe from winter storms.
In extremely cold weather, the ground freezes and can cut off the water supply to a tree’s root system. Experts recommend using a bed of mulch around the trunk of the tree to help protect the roots, especially important with younger trees.
Winter is Coming – Prepare your Trees
With the approach of the colder months, we have started prepping our homes and yards for freezing temperatures and winter storms. There are a few precautionary steps that you can take to protect your trees in winter from pruning them to wrapping the trunks and insulating the root system.
For further questions, or to schedule some professional assistance with your winter tree prep in or around Kokomo, IN, give us a call at Grace Tree Service. With 20 years of experience, we have been through plenty of winters and can get your yard ready for the big freeze in no time.