We’re in the final weeks of autumn. Soon the last leaves will fall, and a crisp chill will fill the air. Before the snow flies, though, it’s time to take care of preparing your landscape for winter. When you do so, you can help to protect your trees so they will be beautiful next spring.
Proper seasonal plant care is not just about a fall clean-up and a tidy yard. It’s about proactive care to ensure the well-being of your trees and shrubs during the harsh weather to come. In this article, we’ll provide seasonal plant health care tips to help you in preparing your landscape for winter.
Why preventive tree care is important
Winter can be a stressful season for both people and trees. Freezing temperatures, dry air, and prolonged exposure to ice can stress your trees. By taking steps to proactively prepare your trees for winter, you can help them build greater resilience to withstand these winter stresses.
Well-maintained trees are also less likely to experience winter damage, such as branches that break under the weight of snow or ice. Preventive tree care can help to reduce the risk of this kind of damage. It can also help you protect your property as well as your family, friends, and even passersby.
Finally, proper preventive tree care during the winter months is the foundation for healthy spring growth. Trees that have been protected and nurtured through the winter are more likely to flourish next spring and summer. You will see the results in new growth, abundant blooms, and healthy foliage.
Seasonal tree health care tips
Now that you know why winter tree care is so important, here is an easy-to-follow guide to seasonal plant health care:
- Mulch. Mulch helps to insulate the soil, retain moisture, and protect roots from the temperature fluctuations of the season. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of your trees, extending it a few feet from the trunk. Avoid mounding the mulch at the base of the trunk; allow for a few inches of space.
- Water. Winter is a very dry season. Water your trees regularly and deeply, with a low, slow flow, right up until the ground freezes. In the Midwest, this could mean watering until early December. Adequate watering gives your trees a reservoir to draw from during the dry winter months, and it’s especially important after a dry summer.
- Prune. Proper pruning can reduce the risk of branch breakage. It also improves air circulation and reduces the risk of certain fungal diseases. Prune dead, diseased, overhanging, or weakened branches to prevent them from becoming hazards during storms. Don’t prune newly planted trees unless branches are diseased or damaged.
- Protect. Young trees need extra protection. Wrap their trunks with tree wraps or hardware cloth to protect them from nibbling rodents and deer seeking food during the cold months. You might also stake trees that will need extra support from winter storms and wind; use soft materials and leave enough flexibility for the tree to sway slightly.
Seasonal plant health care tips
Trees aren’t the only plants on your property that need care. As the cold weather sets in, be sure to adequately water bushes and shrubs until the ground freezes. Some varieties like juniper are more drought-tolerant, while others like yews will need extra care after a dry season like this year’s.
Rake or blow to remove leaves from in and around your flowerbeds to protect your perennials from leaf-borne diseases. Consider staking young, fast-growing shrubs and plants that will need extra support during harsh weather. Some plants, like roses, benefit from rose collars or other protection from the season’s harsh elements.
Winter tree care
Winter’s bare landscape can give you—and the professionals—a prime opportunity to assess the health of your landscape. Schedule a consultation with a certified arborist to determine the health of your trees, inspect for signs of disease or infestation, and address any structural weaknesses with pruning or bracing.
Late fall or early spring can also be a good time to apply deep root fertilization. This provides essential nutrients directly to trees’ or shrubs’ root systems to boost overall health and resilience.
Winter can also be a good time to plan landscape improvements for warmer months. If you are planning to add new trees to your landscape, consult a certified arborist for advice. Choosing the right species for the climate, soil, and light conditions on your property will help to ensure your trees thrive for years to come.
As winter closes in, it’s tempting to take life inside. Your trees, though, need TLC now to get through the winter. Preventive tree care during the winter can make a big difference in the health and longevity of your trees and will protect the investment you have made in your yard.
Looking for guidance with winter tree care and seasonal plant maintenance? We can help. Advanced Tree Care combines top-notch equipment, cutting-edge technology, and well-trained staff to provide emergency tree removal and tree maintenance services. With a presence in nine counties and two states, we work daily to provide unparalleled customer service, safety, and efficiency—as well as the expertise to beautify your landscaping and community. Advanced Tree Care isn’t just our name—it’s also our purpose!