Cold Weather Tree Care

Cold Weather Tree Care

The holiday season is near, which means cold weather and snowfall may be coming. As the colder weather comes, people get ready by digging out winter clothes from the closet, and buying hot drinks. Everyone always makes sure to have enough blankets as well.  It’s a process that happens year after year, but does anyone ever think about the proper care of the other living things on a property? This is not referring cats and dogs either, (although they are obviously important too). We at Front Range Arborists believe that trees and plant life should receive the proper cold weather tree care to survive winter months and beyond.  To achieve this, we want to provide tips and ideas on how to make it happen.

Tree Wraps

A tree wrap works as blanket for a tree. Tree wraps during winter ensure that trees retains heat during the season and avoid sun-scalding. Sun-scalding leads to peeling and cracking bark in a tree. In order to apply this correctly, wraps have to be applied during the right season. Applying it too early could damage the tree and removing far after winter provides the same result. A good rule of thumb is to apply right after Thanksgiving and removing it after winter. This ensures that trees endure the harshest months of winter and also gets some of that spring weather and sun once the time rolls around.

Let it Snow, but Brush It Off

Snow on trees often looks beautiful. It’s a sight that sparks images of winter wonderlands, providing grand and majestic views. While it might be beautiful, plant life might have other ideas. Depending on the tree, snow on branches can damage the tree. Water is heavy, and snow turning into ice that weighs on a tree branch means constant pressure on the tree branch that might have to carry it for months on end. This pressure on branches can cause them to bend, warp, and even snap. This is especially true for newly planted trees. Every winter, make sure to brush, not shake, the branches of trees. Resist the urge to shake them, as branches covered in icy snow may have become brittle and could snap off during shaking. Proper pruning prior to winter and gently brushing off the branches during winter will protect tree branches from taking on heavy damage.

Water Well, Water Before

Dirt floors during winter can be rock hard. Normally, the ground is colder than the air. This means that the roots of trees suffer greatly during winter if they aren’t cared for properly. The process of care for this starts before winter even comes. Due to the ground being icy and solid during the colder months, the roots of trees may have a more difficult time trying to absorb water. No water means a dehydrated tree. A dehydrated tree with no access to water means a winter long battle of survival, trying to absorb whatever moisture it can. Water trees well in the fall before the cold fronts start coming in. After watering and right before the winter months, make sure to surround the base with some mulch, to keep the base of the tree and its roots warm. Check on the base regularly throughout the winter season.


After the Storm

The best care for trees isn’t limited to these three tips. However, whatever care might be given, make sure to follow proper procedures for when the winter season has passed. Tree wraps must be removed, mulch bases scattered about, bush covers taken off, etc. Making sure a tree is ready for the transition to spring is just as important as getting it ready for the winter. Following all of these tips will ensure that trees have the best care and opportunity to weather the season with minimal stress. Trees require a lifetime of care and neglecting to give them that care can reduce a tree’s lifetime. Front Range Arborists specialize in professional tree and turf care, so once that tree is planted, call us! We provide services in pruning, consulting, fertilization, fire mitigation and more.