As winter approaches, the trees around your home will start to go into a state of dormancy. This allows them to weather the harsh conditions until the arrival of spring. Though this natural ability provides the plants with protection, professional tree services still recommend taking steps to safeguard their health. Use the winter preparation guide below to ensure the trees on your property make it through the season in one piece.
Trunk & Branch Protection
Young and smooth-bark trees, such as maple, crab apple, and honey, are susceptible to sunscald and frost cracks during the winter. This is due to temperature fluctuations and can leave the tree exposed to fungal organisms, which cause decay. Wrap the trunk of the tree up to the first branch with a flexible, white wrap until the end of winter to prevent possible damage from disease, insects, or animals chewing away at the bark.
Toward the end of fall, schedule tree pruning to remove dying, diseased, and dead branches. A professional tree service can also improve the branch structure during this time to ensure remaining branches receive adequate sunlight and the weaker ones are braced to handle winter winds and heavy snows.
Fertilizing, Mulching, & Watering
Providing trees with essential nutrients just before the winter will improve their growth in the spring. After ensuring there are no moisture deficits, apply a complete fertilizer uniformly around the root zone—the area from the base of the trunk to the edge of the outer branches. Follow this up with a sufficient watering.
Professional tree services also recommend providing extra water whenever rainfall is lacking. Young saplings should receive 5 gallons of water, plus an additional 5 for every diameter inch of tree trunk. For mature trees, only 1 inch of supplemental water should be applied to the root zone. Do this every week leading up to the first frost of the season to ensure the tree has plenty of moisture to last until spring. You can also apply water on winter days when the temperature is above 40 degrees.
Once the first hard frost of the season hits, add a layer of mulch to combat moisture absorption difficulties and reduce soil evaporation. Apply 2 or 3 inches of wood chips or another organic mulch over the root zone; however, be sure to keep several inches away from the base of the tree to avoid problems with insects or decay.
For the best possible lawn care, contact the experts at L & M Tree Service. They have over 25 years of experience providing effective and safe professional tree services to the Kalispell, MT, area. Visit their website for more information on their services, and call them today at (406) 261-7240 to schedule tree trimming or stump grinding.