As the winter approaches, most people look to the ground to prepare their yards for the winter, but miss out on the trees that are overhead! Preparing your trees for the upcoming winter can reduce the likelihood of problems occurring in winter and the following spring.
So here are some things you can do to help prepare your trees for the upcoming season:
1. Make sure you have a good layer (not more than 2″) of mulch or woodchips around the base of the trees to help the rootzone of the trees during the winter. For more info on proper mulching, click here.
2. Examine the canopy of the trees to see if there is any indication of existing damage. Limbs that are already broken or cracked should be removed (by a professional if higher than a ladder can reach.) If you notice any limbs that look heavy, you may want to have a professional examine it to see if it should be pruned or cabled prior to snow load in the winter.
3. Trees that have a lot of crowded branches in the canopy should be thinned to allow wind to penetrate the canopy without excess damage, especially when there is already a heavy wet snow on the tree.
4. Check to see if you should wrap burlap on the trunk of the tree to prevent frost cracks from developing or getting worse in the late winter. Some trees -particularly younger trees with thinner bark- will benefit, while others will not.
5. Be sure to raise your trees up over your driveway and walkways so that when they become heavy with snow, they are not scraping vehicles or pedestrians.
6. Maintain a watering program for your trees until the ground freezes. Just because they have lost their leaves, doesn’t mean they don’t still require water.
7. If you notice any fungus on the leaves or needles of your trees, be sure to rake those leaves and needles up from the base of the tree and dispose of them away from the trees to avoid the fungus from spreading further. For a DIY quick diagnosis, you can check out Morton Arboretum’s ‘Help with Diseases’ page here.
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