How To Properly Prepare Your Trees For Winter

September is a transitional month. Summer is slowly coming to an end while the cooler days of autumn are getting underway. It is the time of year that trees take on a beautiful rainbow of colors as their leaves start to change. It is also the perfect time for homeowners to start thinking about how to prepare their trees for winter. This is especially important in the Northeast where temperatures often stay well below freezing for long periods of time once winter is underway. This autumn, try using the tips below to properly protect your trees before winter strikes.

Clean Up Debris

Before the snow starts to fall, you should remove any branches, leaves, or other debris from your property. You should be able to handle most small branches on your own. For larger branches, however, you may need to call in a professional tree removal service to help. Keep your eyes peeled for saplings that have sprouted up in your yard. If you find any, consider digging them up and relocating them to another area rather than simply mowing or cutting them down.

Prune Dead Branches​

Removing any dead or damaged branches from a tree can help make it a lot stronger. Boosting the strength of your trees as much as possible before winter is essential. They are far more likely to survive freezing temperatures when they are healthy and in good condition. Getting rid of dead branches also can help keep them from falling under the weight of the snow. This is extremely important from a safety standpoint - both for yourself and for your property. Try to have your pruning done before the snow starts falling.

Wrap Your Tree Trunks

One way to protect your trees from harsh temperatures is by wrapping their trunks. Typically, during the winter, daytime temperatures are much higher than nighttime temperatures. In fact, they sometimes rise above freezing during the day, only to plunge well below freezing at night. This can cause any moisture in the bark of the tree to expand and contract, eventually splitting the bark and leaving behind cracks. This effect is known as sunscald. Tree wrap helps prevent this condition by offering an extra protective layer against the elements. When you wrap your trees, start at the top and work your way to the bottom so that water won't get stuck inside the overlapping parts of the wrap.

Make Sure Your Trees Are Watered

Even though it usually snows during the winter, it still can be exceptionally dry. You can help improve the health of your trees by making sure they are watered well before winter settles in. You should also consider putting mulch around the base to help the trees hold onto the moisture. You can find more information about mulch in the following section.

Use Mulch For Extra Protection

Adding mulch around the base of your trees is a great way to protect them during the winter advise Austin tree service. Not only does mulch help them hold onto water but it also provides extra protection against freezing temperatures. Just make sure to leave a 6-inch-wide ring around the base of your tree where there is no mulch. Otherwise, the mulch could cause fungus to grow around the bottom of your tree.

Consider Using Fertilizer

Most trees appreciate nutrient-rich soil. You can help keep them in great shape by adding fertilizer to the soil at the base of the tree. Consider using a slow-release fertilizer. These products are designed to provide nutrients to your tree through the entire winter season, helping to keep them healthy and strong.

Plant New Trees In The Fall

As strange as it may sound, many trees do best when they are planted in the fall. The cool temperatures help encourage new roots to grow in the young trees. Even though a new tree may look dead after you plant it, a lot is happening underground. This initial root growth helps give it the strength that it needs to put out new leaves and branches when spring finally arrives. Typically, the best trees to plant in the fall are the ones that are balled-and-burlapped. If you have bare-root trees, however, you should hold off on planting them until later in the winter season.

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