Autumn’s popularity is commonly attributed to the bold, beautiful colours of fall foliage. What was once green has now turned, sometimes shockingly quick, to gold, red, and orange. These colours not only call to mind the onset of the holiday season but also serve as a reminder of what is to come.
Winter is often hazardous to our trees. Its freezing temperatures, abrasive winds, and pounding snowfall can turn trees from sturdy, stoic forms of natural beauty to the source of fallen branches and limbs that routinely damage cars, roads, and power lines. This can not only harm your property values; it can cause issues of property damage or personal safety.
However, with proper care and maintenance, you can avoid these potential hazards. To better prepare your trees for the winter and provide a pathway to their resurgence in the spring, make sure to follow our five tips to prepare your trees for winter.
1. Plant Trees in Autumn
Despite the oncoming winter, fall is often the best time to plant a new tree in your yard. If you plant the tree before the end of November, you will be able to take advantage of the mild temperatures and abundance of rain that help roots take hold and gain strength. Make sure to pick an area that gives the tree the needed space to grow into maturity. Even a single tree, whether for added privacy or added visual appeal, can help boost property values throughout its life.
2. Use Mulch Proactively
A bed of mulch is one of the best ways to keep trees healthy throughout the year. Mulch helps lock moisture into the soil, serving as a barrier that prevents soil from getting too dry. You can also use mulch to regulate the ground temperature throughout the year, keeping the soil cooler than shade alone during sweltering summer months and warm enough to prevent a deep freeze during the winter.
When using mulch, don’t pack it in as close as possible to the tree. Instead, keep the mulch around two to three inches away from the trunk. This helps keep pests and fungus from accumulating near the base of the tree.
3. Fertilize Throughout Winter
Even in winter, a tree’s roots will continue to grow. So, it is critical to continue providing them with the necessary nutrients that support healthy growth. A slow-release fertilizer can release nutrients at a steady schedule to help the roots continue to grow. This can give your tree the head start it needs to blossom in the spring.
4. Keep Pests Away
Winter alone is not enough to keep pests away from your trees. If you apply a dormant oil in the fall, you prevent invasive pest larvae from growing. Furthermore, a dormant oil won’t destroy the bugs your tree needs to survive. Once spring arrives, you shouldn’t find any parasitic pests that have established your tree as their new base of operations. That means less gnawed-on fruit and tree buds.
5. Prune Hazardous Branches
Dead or diseased branches pose a significant risk of damage to your home and land during a winter storm. A professional tree pruning service can remove the branches and limbs that pose the greatest risk to your property and personal safety. Removing these hazards comes with the additional benefits of helping your tree maintain stability and withstand harsh winds. Regular tree maintenance can also aid in your tree’s overall health and curb appeal.
The bold, beautiful colours of fall should serve as a reminder that winter is indeed coming with is freezing temperature, blustery winds, and burdensome snowfall.
To better protect your home, yard, and trees, contact Martin’s Tree Service to help with pruning and overall tree maintenance.