For regions across the country who will experience snow and freezing temperatures during the winter months, it’s important to protect your trees and shrubs so they’ll emerge in the spring healthy and strong for the new growing season. Here are three things you should consider, and ways you can deter any permanent damage to the trees and shrubs on your property.
Winter burn is common on evergreen foliage and is caused when the plant loses too much moisture through its needles, which cannot be replenished through the frozen root system.
This commonly effects evergreens which receive southern or western exposure (full sun), as well as areas where harsh winds are present. During the winter months, the sun and the wind can quickly dry out evergreen foliage if not replaced by supplemental watering.
Prevention – Moving plants away from full sun exposure is not a convenient option. Therefore, as long as the ground is not frozen, continue to water evergreens throughout the winter – every other week for 20-30 minutes. Additionally, wrapping evergreens in burlap or creating a burlap fence around them will help diffuse the sun and wind from directly contacting the foliage.
Deer, rabbits and squirrels might look cute against a blanket of white snow, but deciduous trees and shrubs can often attract the appetites of hungry rodents. If the food supply is scarce in the surrounding area, animals have been known to chew and eat bark and other small stems for nourishment. This can leave the tree or shrub open to infections and diseases, as well as disrupting the cellular framework of the tree (depending on the depth).
Prevention – When possible, surround trees and shrubs with chicken wire, tree guards or hard cloths to deter any nibbling by animals in your area. If using chicken wire, make sure the holes are small enough so rodents such as mice cannot get through. Make sure the wire is staked and secured to the ground. Two to three feet from the base of the tree or shrub should be sufficient. Avoid chemical spray deterrents as they often are ineffective and can be harmful to pets and humans.
This often occurs in trees that are south or west facing as the sun heats the bark during the day which triggers something called cambial activity – rapidly dividing cell tissues – and then at night the colder temperatures cause the cambium to die. This is common on thin-barked trees such as mountain ash, maples and even cherries.
Prevention – By wrapping the trunk with a light-colored tree wrap, this will reflect light away and prevent the creation of cambium. Make sure you remove it during the early spring to prevent fungal or insect problems.
For questions on caring for your trees and shrubs during the winter months, contact SavATree today.