trees and shrubs after a very heavy snowfall in Alberta

How to Protect Your Trees and Shrubs in Wintertime

If you're worried about your trees and shrubs during wintertime, we've got tips on how to ensure they stay protected! Read on to learn more.

A well-landscaped home is valued between 5.5 and 12.7% more than a home with no landscaping.

And while it may add to the value of your home, good landscaping means maintenance. One of the most important parts of landscape maintenance is protecting your trees and shrubs in the winter months.

If you don't want to be surprised with broken or damaged trees and shrubs in the spring, it's important to take care of them before the cold and dry winter months really settle in. Below, we'll tell you all about what happens if you don't take steps to protect them, when to get started, and a few more of the common questions we get about winterizing your landscape.


What Happens if You Don't Protect Trees and Shrubs?

Glaring winter sun rays can bleach evergreens and gusts of dry wind can dry out the foliage. Combined with colder temperatures, bark can get damaged and roots, branches, and buds killed. Roots can also be severely damaged by freeze and thaw cycles which leave them exposed.

Bark, branches, buds, and foliage are susceptible to damage from animals throughout the winter and into early spring. They tend to eat these parts of trees and shrubs when they can't find other food.

As snow and ice buildup on foliage, this can break branches and even trunks of small trees. This is more likely to happen in the shrubbery, which tends to be closer together and provides a wider surface area for buildup. Landscaping that sits close to the street or sidewalk may also be damaged by salt and other de-icing substances.


When to Start Protecting Trees and Shrubs

When you start taking measures to protect the trees and shrubs depends on the task at hand. Some things you'll need to start as soon as early autumn, such as gradually reducing water and fertilizer. This will help your plants harden off for the wintertime.

You should also consider mulching your landscaping. This is beneficial in both the summer and winter months. In the winter months, it conserves moisture for the roots that tend to dry out but it also keeps the soil warmer.

Some things need to be completed before the first snowfall. If you plan to construct a wall to protect your shrubs from de-icer and salt spray, for example, you'll have to do that before the snow hits the ground.

When Is the Best Time to Wrap Trees?

The trunks of trees should be wrapped in order to protect them from the sun as well as animals. But wrapping is the most important for evergreens.
The sun, wind, and cold cause evergreens to lose moisture. Because the ground is frozen, that moisture can't be replenished from the soil as it would in the summer. To avoid the browning or bleaching this can cause, wrap burlap around your evergreens before the temperatures drop below freezing.

How to Care for New Trees

The biggest difference between new trees and older trees is that the former are more likely to get damaged in the wintertime. That's simply due to the fact that they haven't yet developed the resilience or strength to make it through the sun, wind, and cold undamaged.

Young trees are more likely to break under the weight of heavy snow and ice. To protect new trees from damaged branches or broken trunks, cover them with burlap or create a burlap barrier to protect them from the harsh surroundings.


More Help with Your Trees and Shrubs

Having a beautiful yard means taking the time to protect your trees and shrubs for the winter. That means wrapping them in burlap, creating snow barriers, as well as things that need to be done well before winter, such as mulching.

And for more of the best advice on caring for your landscaping, check out our blog regularly or call us any time of the year to request a free tree service estimate!