It’s good to be evergreen: Tree tips for winter

December 10, 2018
  |   3 Comments

Many of us worry about our trees in winter – between the cold air, wind and snow, our trees must be in trouble, right?

Not really – Trees go into a period of dormancy in the winter to protect fragile tissues. All trees have adaptations that actually allow them to survive quite well in the winter.

For example, the buds, with next year’s flowers and leaves, are tightly packed and covered with tough scales to protect them from drying wind and freezing temperatures. Also, roots function more slowly in winter but still grow and feed the tree as long as the ground is not frozen solid. This allows the tree to store more energy for new growth in the spring. You can even plant trees in the middle of winter (if your shovel can break through frozen soil and snow!).

While your trees might not need a lot of care in winter, there are some tips you can follow to make sure your trees and other wildlife are happy until spring.

 

  • It’s not too late to mulch: Did you forget to mulch in the fall? Didn’t have time? You can add mulch to protect and feed your trees roots anytime. In fact, it will still help your tree a lot. Add 2-3 inches of mulch in a ring around the tree. Here’s a how-to guide on mulch and do avoid the dreaded mulch volcano!
  • Create habitat for winter wildlife.  Use your Christmas tree to create a warm and protected spot for birds and small mammals. After you remove all of the decorations, prop your used Christmas tree in a corner of the yard (or along a fence or behind a playground) and leave until spring. Use a bungee cord or some rope to hold it upright. Better yet, put up a bird feeder nearby too.

 

Branch covered in snow

Don’t shake off branches with snow. You don’t know what else might fall off!

 

  • Heavy snowfall or ice: You should NOT shake branches laden with snow and ice; especially ones above your head. It’s tempting and sometimes lots of fun, but it’s also risky. Frozen branches are often very brittle and can break so you could do more damage than good. Also, heavy snow and ice can hurt you.
  • Winds: Are you worried about trees and shrubs on a super windy site? The old-fashioned method of protecting the trees and shrubs with burlap, or other cloth, is the best way to protect them from drying out in the wind.
  • Trees serve as wind protectors in winter

    Trees serve as wind protectors in winter

    Bonus tip for you: Have you ever gotten pine sap on your hands? An easy and safe way to remove the sap is to pour a couple of drops of your favorite cooking oil on your hands and rub away. Then wash it off with regular dish soap. Viola!

This winter, there’s no need to worry about your trees. Focus on staying warm yourself!

 

 

Article by Laura Miller and Jessica Jones, Tree Montgomery

 

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3 comments on "It’s good to be evergreen: Tree tips for winter"

  1. thanks for the information

  2. varun gupta says:

    thanks for sharing this tips

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