Friday, December 16, 2016

5 Steps to Winter Tree Care

1. Pruning - Winter is the best time to prune. During the winter months, plant material enters a state of dormancy in which it can better tolerate removal of dead branches. Pruning is always more effective when done proactively versus re-actively.

2. Mulching - Applying 2 to 4 inches of mulch just before winter helps regulate the soil temperature. Young tree roots have a tendency to heave up out of the ground with continual freeze-thaw cycles. Mulch also helps conserve soil moisture, prevents weeds, and keeps the organic matter in the soil.

3. Inspecting - Take a look at the roots especially near the tree base for decay. Signs of cracking, swelling, and bark coming off signal a tree that may need to be removed. Insect infestation is also a sign of a failing tree.

4. Bracing for Frost - Our upright evergreens are the most susceptible to ice and becoming brittle. Proper pruning of weak branches is the best defense.

5. Fertilizing - With tree root fertilization, timing is everything. If applied too early, trees may start to use it too soon. November and December are the best months to fertilize for results in Spring.