Winterizing Trees

Prevent Damage by Winterizing Trees

Do you need to prepare for the cold weather by winterizing trees in Virginia, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Springfield, or the surrounding areas?

Winter is the dormant season for tree growth, making it the perfect time for pruning and other winter tree care. In order to ensure survival, prepare your trees for winter and prevent cold weather damage.

It is particularly vital to winterize newly planted trees and saplings for the colder months, because they have yet to build a strong foundation for survival.

Keep reading to learn what steps you can take to protect your trees during the winter months and ensure healthy growth in spring.

Need winter tree pruning service or tree care in Northern Virginia? Call us today at (703) 969-6207.

Winter Tree Pruning

Winter is the absolute best time to prune your trees, preparing them for the resting season and ensuring healthy springtime growth. Trees like hibiscus trees and palm trees are popular in Virginia, and they all require pruning for proper growth.

During pruning, you will want to remove low growing branches and limbs. The next highest priority is weak limbs that look likely to fall off or break during the windy, snow laden winter months. Make as few clean cuts as possible so that the tree can properly heal.

Be especially careful when pruning trees for fall and genuinely consider enlisting the help of a professional arborist. It is easy to over-prune, leading to weak blooms in spring.

Mulching & Aerating to Preserve Moisture

Before applying any treatments to the soil around your tree, you want to properly prepare the ground for a healthy, nutrient delivering winter. Especially for newly planted trees, it is critical to ensure proper nutrients can be accessed during the dormant season.

The first step is aerating the soil, mixing it to ensure that water can flow to roots without restriction. Only work the top few inches to prevent critical damage to the vital roots under the surface.

Mulching comes right along with aeration, providing trees with moisture and temperature control. Spread a few inches of organic mulch over the base of trees, but avoid piling it close to the trunk. Covering the tree trunk through winter can lead to decay and rotting.

Fertilize the Soil

After placing a healthy application of mulch, fertilization can be applied to protect the tree. Homeowners typically fertilize when unsure that trees can access a plentiful amount of nutrients during the winter months. Be sure to use nitrogen very cautiously.

Keep Watering, If Needed

If there is little precipitation, trees may require watering in the beginning of the season. Use your discretion, but warm daytime temperatures and winter droughts are signs that watering should take place.

Over watering is still a concern during the winter, so water lightly if weather conditions are dry. Once the ground begins to freeze and frost overnight, stop watering the trees for the season.

Wrapping Tree Trunks

Tree trunks are very susceptible to frost, wind damage and sun scald, particularly if they are newly planted. Without a thick-grown bark, trees can experience bark splitting. This compromises the health and could stunt growth.

There are a few options when it comes to tree wraps: canvas, burlap, vinyl and paper. All wraps help protect saplings and smooth-barked trees from excessive damage.

More Winterizing Suggestions

Depending on the specific trees and needs of your property, there are other successful tips for winterizing trees. If applicable, consider including these tactics in your winterization plan:

  • Reinforce Support Cables: Make sure that any support stakes and cables are properly secured and able to stand up to heavy snows and high winds. Also make sure that cords aren’t rubbing or damaging the bark.
  • Use Dormant Spray: Used to protect deciduous trees from wind and snow, applying dormant spray strengthens the survival rate of trees. Apply after pruning.
  • Remove Damaged Limbs: While this should be taken care of during pruning, be sure to remove all accessible branches, limbs and damaged bark. These all attract animals that can damage and feed on trees in winter.

Call Absolute Tree for Winter Tree Care

Call us today at (703) 969-6207 if you live in Northern Virginia and need tree care services such as tree pruning. You can also click here to contact us online now.

Absolute Tree Service, Inc. is a full-service tree company serving Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Springfield, and the surrounding areas. We are fully licensed and insured, delivering our residential and commercial customers with superior service. Give us a call and learn what we can do for you!

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