With October upon us, winter can’t be far off. While we take shelter in our nice, warm homes, all our trees can do is drop their leaves to lighten the weight on their branches. Before the snow flies, however, you can do your part to protect your valuable investment.
Here’s a list of ways you can improve the chances of your trees and shrubs having a good winter:
• Have your trees inspected for hazards by one of our professional arborists.
• Heed the recommendations our arborist makes as a result of the inspection. These recommendations may include pruning to remove broken, weak, dead or dying branches. Cabling and bracing may be recommended to strengthen weak forks and reduce the chance of limb breakage in a wind, snow or ice storm.
• Apply anti-desiccant to both needled and broadleaf evergreens. This simple procedure can reduce the chance of winter burn. It is a wax-like substance that helps the plant retain moisture. Anti-desiccant, sold in spray bottles at garden stores, can easily be applied to one or two plants. Professional application from a backpack sprayer is more economical if you have a number of evergreens, especially tall trees.
• Wrap young, tender trees and shrubs with burlap to reduce wind and road salt damage.
• Apply trunk guard, such as hardware cloth, around trees and shrubs to discourage wildlife browsing. When deer, rabbits, mice and other wildlife don’t have access to their regular food supplies, they eat anything that’s available. And, that’s often the tender bark and sapwood of your landscape trees and shrubs.
• Mulch around the base of your trees but don’t pile the mulch up against the trunks or stems. This can trap moisture and result in a microbe-caused disease. Mulch piled against a trunk is also camouflage for mice dining on your plants. Be sure there are several inches between the mulch and the tree.
Trees are too valuable to leave to the elements. They deserve all the help and protection we can give them. With the care outlined above, your trees can continue to bring you beauty and pleasure for years to come.