Essential care tips for winter tree

Winter season can bring a lot of stress on your trees, especially for the ones that lack strong defense mechanisms for themselves or the young and old ones. The characteristic of winter weather accompanying the ice, storm, and rapid fluctuations of temperature above or below zero can take their toll and significantly damage the trees. To avoid the stresses and accountable damage caused by winter weather, here are a few caring tips you can consider to prevent such circumstances and keep your trees in good condition.

Winter drought

Drying out of trees can be a real problem in winters, especially for evergreens. When a tree loses water more than it absorbs from frozen ground, it experiences winter drought. This problem gets worse in windy conditions. To prevent winter drought, it’s essential to put mulch around the tree base that will act as a temperature buffer for the tree roots and helps to prevent excessive moisture loss.

Tree cold stress

Winter cold stress is a real problem for the trees and can take various forms. The rapid temperature change between night time freezing and daytime heat can be the major cause of cold stress on mature trees. The rapid temperature changes can make the tree weak, affecting its inner wood and outer bark, causing cracks in them. There are some great services provided by arborists and tree service company providers such as cold winter tree blankets etc. that can prevent such problems and keep your tree health safe.

Broken branches

During the winter season, the branches of the trees become more vulnerable to breakage and damage. Also, the weight of hail and snow can cause hazardous conditions for you or your family as it can lead to broken tree branches. The good news is, there are various services offered by tree service companies and arborists that can prove to be a great proactive approach against winter hazards.

Infestation of rodents

Rodents, rabbits, and voles forge for scarce food and target the trees as the winter season approaches. These critters are the major culprits that girdle trees and chew barks of the trees damaging the trees to a great extent. To avoid this problem, you can leave a good space between the trunk of the tree and the mulch that would act as a protective shield against mice and rabbit attacks and keep a check on them frequently. If the problem still continues, it’s always advisable to ask for the tree service company to devise the best plan for you.

Structural pruning

The structural pruning of your trees in the winter season will keep your trees healthy by establishing their good structure and prevent any kind of future damage such as failure of the limb. The structural pruning involves the removal of crossing branches, diseased branches, and more and should only be done with the help of a professional tree service to do the right job for you. A single diseased branch might not seem to be a problem right away, but if it’s not taken proper care, it is expected to infect other branches and become larger over time.

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How to properly Prune Your Trees

The most important activity of tree maintenance is pruning which influences tree health and structure. Well-pruned trees are not only conducive to maintaining tree health but helps provide a safe and healthy environment by adding to the aesthetic value of the localities concerned. The act of pruning helps trees to grow straight with a healthy branch structure minimizing the risk of injury mostly caused by dead, hanging and detached twigs and branches.

I apt to pen down some tips about the time and seasons that is best for pruning. In this respect, it is advisable to:

  • Prune shrubs and non-blooming trees in late winter when fully dormant. For summer-blooming shrubs and trees, the best time is late winter. Spring blooming shrubs and trees are pruned soon after blooming. Though it is exceptional to the rule of pruning, but they should be pruned as early as possible.
  • The first pruning cut should be one to two feet away from the trunk. This cut is done under the branch of the tree being pruned. The next pruning cut is the top one slightly away from the first cut which allows the limb to drop smoothly on the ground and this way, tearing the bark off the tree could be avoided.
  • Pruning helps the new branches grow and fruit trees benefit from pruning. Trees stay health dead limbs are removed. Deadwood makes the tree susceptible to diseases and insect infested.
  • Trees just leafed out in spring could get weaken by early pruning.
  • The best time for pruning trees for structure and form is when the leaves fall and the branches stand naked to be seen clearly.
  • Remove dead wood in summer when the leafless branches are easily spotted. If heavy pruning is needed, it should be carried out before new growth in early spring to hide the pruning cuts.
  • Lower the height of a plant up to 20% then cut back a lower branch crotch. Cuts should be made into live wood only. Pruning is strictly not advised when it is damp or wet.
  • It should be ensured that a cut is made between the sick branches and the body of the tree.
  • If complete branches are required to be taken off, it is advised to get close to the main stem and strike at the same angle as the branch collar. Trees should be kept clean to prevent diseases.
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