Protect your trees
Trees can be a beautiful addition to any home. They provide shade in the summer, greenery, and blooms in the spring. For many of us, there is nothing prettier than trees in the fall, when the leaves are turning various colors of browns, golds, oranges, and reds. Just as we follow care and maintenance tips for the cooling and heating system in our home, we need to follow winter tree care tips so that after winter, we can enjoy that beauty and shade again.
There professional tree care services to provide annual care, like pruning. There are companies that offer both tree care and landscaping on a weekly basis. While it is important to have a professional whose focus is tree care, there are things we can do ourselves using winter tree care tips provided by those same professionals. Working with the same tree professionals to do the work and provide us winter tree care tips will make sure that the same care is continuous.
Will Frost kill newly planted trees?
It can, yes. Winters are hard on a young tree, especially the first frost and winter. Because they are so vulnerable to the cold weather, they need more attention from you to survive the cold weather elements like frost and snow. Shielding your new tree from the very tip-top to the root is the key to protection.
While we’re telling you winter tree care tips to protect your newly planted tree from cold weather and frost, we also need to tell you that the winter sun can kill your fruit tree or and thin bark tree. During the winter, a newly planted tree, fruit tree, and thin bark trees are vulnerable to “sun-scald”.
While winter is cold and frost happens during the night, winter days, the sun is warm and heats the bark on trees. Under the bark is tissue and that warmth gives that tissue and barks a break winter day, tree bark heats up, causing the tissue under the bark to come out of the dormant winter stage.
Then, the sunsets and the freezing temperature and frost return, freezing the tissue to death. Your tree then has sunken areas on the bark where the tissue is dead, and your fruit tree’s buds are damaged before they have a chance.
Trees do not respond well to fast drops in temperature, especially a newly planted tree. All winter tree care tips recommend to make plans for frost ahead of time by stocking up on rolls of burlap and plenty of mulch, the watch the forecast for any prediction of a rapid drop in temps overnight, the follow these winter tree care tips.
- The day before a freeze is expected – water the tree thoroughly.
- Put out plenty of mulch to seal in that moisture and prevent possible frost heaving. This is a distinct problem for younger trees for the first two or three winters.
- For additional protection, cover the tree carefully with burlap then remove it the next morning so it doesn’t get overheated.
Can trees freeze to death?
It is possible, but Mother Nature is a creative and protective lady, she doesn’t need any winter tree care tips. However, we need to understand how she works and how her offsprings of trees survive a winter!
A tree will rarely freeze to death, but it will freeze some simply because half of its weight is water, and as we know from elementary science class, water freezes. Trees go into a hibernation mode that is referred to as dormancy. While they appear to be asleep, they are nurturing their cells to keep them alive and survive the winter weather.
Trees lose their leaves in the fall, so that eliminates them needing extra nutrition and strength to support them and keep them alive. Each time it rains, or your water, a tree will store water in its cell to use as it needs it later, like during the winter. When winter comes, a tree will relocate some of that water into areas around its cells, which keeps the cell’s insides from freezing, which could kill them, then the tree could die.
So, how does that stored water keep the tree alive? After the water is relocated, it freezes first, then it puts off small bursts of heat which keep the tree cells from freezing. While this is progress, the starch inside the tree cells also turns to sugar, (much like in the human body), and that makes those cells tolerate the cold better.
Should trees be watered in the winter?
Yes! Maybe one of the most important winter tree care tips is to water your trees! Below the soil’s surface, the tree roots are still growing, even when the temperature drops, and that means they need water. While snow will leave behind some moisture, it isn’t enough, and where the winters are dry, there is no snow to leave moisture behind. So, it requires human interaction.
Before the year’s first freeze, continue the watering schedule you have all summer. After that first freeze, once a month, a deep watering. With a newly planted tree, you need to maintain the same watering schedule all year long with deep water just before the first freeze and add plenty of mulch around the base of the tree to keep that moisture in – that could be the most essential of all winter tree care tips.
How do you mulch a tree for the winter?
Mulch is a tree’s best friend, especially a newly planted tree. Mulch provides insulation for the tree’s roots from the ground contracting and expanding with repeated freezing and thawing during the winter. That changing can damage the roots and push out a sapling. Mulch also keeps moisture in and weeds out.
The common of all winter tree care tips about how much mulch is needed and how do you lay the mulch recommends: Add 2 to 4-inch-deep mulch to the tree base after removing a three to ten-foot area of grass around the tree. Do not let the mulch touch the trunk.
Is tree wrap necessary?
Absolutely! Tree wrap is a must for newly planted trees and thin-barked trees. Thin bark trees are crabapple, honey locust, and soft maple. Even trees on the southern side of your home are susceptible to the winter weather. Unless your area experiences an early frost (and you’ll know this by watching the weather forecast), wrap your trees by the first of November at the latest.
Trees are a beautiful addition to a home. From the shade in the summer to the beautiful colors of fall as they drop off, they are something to enjoy. Like anything else in our lives which we enjoy and get so much from, we need to take care of them too and help Mother Nature when we needed. Call 817-882-6499 today for your winter tree care in Fort Worth, TX.