Caring for your trees and shrubs doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, a little bit of TLC here and there goes a long way in making a difference in the overall health of your trees. There are things you can do all year, but prepping your trees now for the winter months will have a positive impact on your specimens. You just need to know what to do and when to do it! Here are simple ways to prep your trees for winter.
What’s simpler than watering your trees and shrubs? It’s something you may not be thinking of this time of year, but it is vital that your trees have adequate water when heading into the winter months. Moist soil reduces winter stress and injury.
You’ll want to pay special attention to evergreens, recently transplanted specimens, and trees and shrubs located in droughty areas. These are the trees that will benefit most from a good soil soaking. The water needs to penetrate deep into the roots, so a long slow watering is best.
Adding mulch around the base of your trees is another way to make sure your trees are set for winter. Mulch helps regulate soil temperature and moisture during the colder months. Use a composite organic mulch if possible and spread it around the base of the tree. Like any other time of year, a layer 2”-3” deep will do the trick.
Did you know that roots do most of their developing during the fall and early winter? Therefore, now is the perfect time to fertilize your trees and shrubs. A certified arborist can inspect your trees and recommend fertilization treatments. Well nourished plants have a better chance of making it through the winter without injury.
Animals can cause a lot of damage to your trees during the winter. To prevent their destruction, use physical barriers such as a fence of trunk wrap to block deer from eating foliage and rubbing the bark off your trees with their antlers.
Also, trim back ground cover and low shrubs around small trees to discourage rodent damage. You can also place a wire mesh around the base to prevent chewing damage—simple as that!
If you follow these winter prepping tips, your trees and shrubs will be better able to handle the winter elements, making them healthier, happier trees!