5 Last-Minute Tips to Protect Your Trees This Winter
Harsh winter conditions can be detrimental to trees and shrubs. Although the cold weather has already begun, it’s not too late to protect the delicate plants on your property from further storm damage.
Here are five ways you can help your trees and shrubs survive through the winter.
Removing dead, damaged and diseased branches promotes plant health. It also reduces the risk of branches bending and breaking under the weight of snow and ice accumulation. If you didn’t prune your trees in early autumn, however, you’ll need to wait until they’re dormant before you make the first cut. Pruning trees prior to hibernation can do more harm than good because it stimulates new growth that’s too delicate to survive in the cold weather.
Even after the ground has frozen, you can still add a layer of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs to protect their roots. Mulching helps the soil retain moisture and reduces the risk of winter desiccation, a type of tree dehydration caused by dry winter winds.
A layer of mulch also helps insulate roots and regulate soil temperature. In addition to damaging roots, irregular freezing patterns can cause frost heaving, an upward swelling of the soil that destabilizes plants, particularly saplings and recently transplanted shrubs.
This technique is reserved for delicate shrubs and plants such as rose bushes. Create a mound of soil or finished compost around the bottom 20 to 30 centimetres of the plant in need of protection to safeguard its stem from extreme cold and dry winter winds. Mounding helps ensure healthy bud growth in the spring.
When sunlight warms the bark of dormant trees during the winter, it triggers the growth of new cells that can’t survive subsequent freezing overnight temperatures. Burlap or commercial tree wrap can be used to shield tree trunks from this type of damage, referred to as sunscald.
Multi-stem trees and trunks with a vertical split are particularly susceptible to harsh winter conditions. A professional arborist can assess vulnerable trees and install flexible steel cables to reinforce weak limbs against the weight of ice glaze and wet snow. Alternatively, saplings and shrubs can be covered in burlap or strong cloth to protect their delicate limbs from ice and snow accumulation.
All Season Tree Service in Alberta
At All Season Tree Service, we understand the havoc an Alberta winter can wreak on your yard. This is why we offeremergency tree removal services in Edmonton and the surrounding communities. Our team also provides tree hazard and storm damage assessments. For a free estimate or to schedule an appointment, be sure to contact us today.