About Me

Creating An Inviting Yard

I have always been one of those people who loves to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for others, which is why I started looking at landscaping design in the first place. It was incredible to me to see how much of a difference I was able to make by adding a few new plants, and after that first project, I wanted to help other people. I started volunteering to help friends and neighbors do their landscaping, and after a few months, I had developed quite a following. This blog is all about creating a warm, inviting yard through smart landscaping and an eye for detail.

Creating An Inviting Yard

5 Tips For Wintering Young Trees

by Addison Washington

Mature trees can typically weather winter weather with minimal preparation or maintenance, but those planted in the last few years can still be susceptible to the ravages of winter weather and stresses. Take some time in the autumn to make sure these younger trees have the tools they need to overwinter successfully.

1. Clear Weak Wood

A single dead or damaged branch may not seem like a big deal, but winter winds and snow loads can rip it free. As it falls, it may damage other branches in its path. The better option over ignoring the branch is to have it properly pruned out before winter comes. Pruning also results in a clean wound, which the tree is better able to heal over compared to a broken branch stump. 

2. Brace Against Wind

Young trees have shallow root systems that may not have been established well yet, as this can take a couple of years of growth. High winds combined with heavy snow loads in the branches can lead to a blowdown if you aren't prepared. A single stake with a taut line connecting it to the trunk just below the bottom tier of branches can provide sufficient bracing against the wind while still allowing some necessary natural movement of the trunk.

3. Mulch for Insulation

Freeze and thaw cycles in the soil pose a risk to young roots, which tend to be shallow and prone to frost heave. Frost heave can uproot the tree or even damage the newly growing roots. Spreading a few inches of mulch over the root zone of the tree provides needed insulation that helps prevent rapid freezing and thawing, and thus reduces the chances of frost heave.

4. Protect From Animals

Marauding animals such as deer and rodents will chew the bark off of young trees as they desperately seek out winter feed. When too much bark is lost, a tree will die. Placing a cage around the trunk can keep animals away. Just make sure to remove it before the trunk grows wide enough to press against the inside of the cage.

5. Guard Against Sunscald

In some climates, sunscald affects young, thin-barked trees. The heat from direct sunlight on the trunk causes the sap to flow, but the quick return of freezing temperatures freezes the sap and causes the bark to burst. Special trunk wraps are available to protect against sunscald, but these must be removed promptly in spring.

Contact a tree maintenance service if you need more help getting your young tree ready for the winter season.