Winter Tree Protection: Your Guide to Keeping Your Trees Healthy This Winter
Winter here in Michigan isn’t only tough for us, it’s tough on our trees as well. Though they look strong and sturdy, the frigid temperatures, dry wind, roadside salt, and accumulation of ice and snow can really hurt our trees. Luckily, the experts here at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care have put together a few tips and tricks for winter tree care.
Two of the biggest threats to your trees this winter are extreme cold and dehydration. When the ground is frozen, your trees aren’t able to absorb water through their roots. Combine this with the dry winds sucking the water out of your trees start to get stressed out and dehydrated.
One way to protect your trees from cold damage to the roots and dehydration is with mulch. Applying a two-inch layer of mulch around the base of your tree insulates the roots and helps retain moisture. The insulation protects the roots from fluctuating temperatures, helping keep your tree healthy this winter. As an added benefit, a layer of mulch helps keep voles away from your trees as well, reducing the likelihood of dealing with vole damage.
Pruning a tree by cutting away unhealthy, overgrown, or dead branches is one of the best things to do for your trees. In the winter, when your trees are dormant, pruning is both easy and beneficial. Because the leaves have all fallen, it’s much easier to spot problem spots on your tree that need to be pruned away. Pruning in the winter also prevents tree diseases from being spread because those diseases have all gone dormant as well.
Not only does winter pruning make your tree look more beautiful, but it’s also very healthy. Pruning stimulates new growth in the spring, keeping your tree beautiful and healthy. Pruning away the dead, dying, and overgrown branches frees up resources in your tree to be sent to new growth. It also allows oxygen and sunlight to reach new branches. In the spring, your tree will come back strong and healthy.
Wrapping Your Trees
One of the most devastating problems facing our trees this winter is sunscald. Sunscald is caused by the rapid freezing and thawing of the tree bark as temperatures bounce from above to below freezing. Sunscald can permanently damage a tree, even killing it in extreme cases. Luckily, there’s an easy winter tree protection method to prevent sunscald: wrapping your tree.
Using a light-colored tree wrap, gently wrap the bark of your tree. The light color helps reflect the sunlight while the wrap helps regulate temperatures around the bark. Not only does tree wrap protect against sunscald, but it also helps prevent damage from deer, voles, and salt spray.
Remove the Snow and Ice
Another essential step to winter tree protection is regular snow and ice removal. As ice and snow accumulate on your trees, the weight can prove to be too much. Too much weight from snow and ice can cause branches to break, causing damage to the tree and to the curb appeal of your property.
An easy way to fix this is to monitor the build-up of snow and ice. Remove it when the branches begin to sag and strain. If it’s just a light coating, then you won’t have to remove it. Make sure you don’t pull the branches down to shake off the snow as this can cause the branch to snap.
Get Professional Help From the Experts
Here at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, we know what it takes to keep your Michigan trees healthy this winter. With services like pruning, trimming, and removal, we have the solutions to help with your winter tree protection.
For more information on winter tree protection and how you can get started, give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or contact us here. For the latest and greatest tips in all things tree-related, head over to our comprehensive blog. To keep up with our latest news and offerings, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.