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Tree-Care Tips For Cold Weather

The addition of trees to your home's landscape can be beneficial when it comes to taking advantage of the shade and beauty these majestic plants provide. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of thinking their trees can make it through the winter without any preparation. Taking the time to properly prepare your trees to withstand the cold winter temperatures can ensure that your trees mature properly.

Here are three tips you can use to ensure your trees are prepared to withstand cold weather in the future.

1. Keep your trees warm by wrapping them.

Exposure to extreme cold can be detrimental for the trees in your home's landscape. As cold weather sets in, you may notice that there is an extreme difference between the cold temperatures your area experiences at night and the somewhat warmer temperatures associated with sun exposure during the day. These temperature fluctuations could cause cracks to develop between the bark and the inner wood of your trees -- a condition known as frost cracking.

To prevent frost cracking from compromising the health of your trees, wrap the trunks in specialized blankets designed to insulate against extreme temperature changes as soon as you notice temperatures beginning to drop.

2. Time your pruning appropriately.

Many homeowners prune their trees to help control growth patterns. Timing your pruning activities correctly can be critical when it comes to protecting the trees in your home's landscape from cold-induced damage. You should wait until your trees have gone into dormancy in the fall before pruning.

Sometimes pruning can encourage new growth if the tree is not dormant, and this new growth will not have time to become strong and established before winter when you prune in the fall. Cold temperatures will cause the cell walls on newly grown branches to rupture, resulting in significant die-off the following spring. Waiting until after your trees become dormant to prune is a simple way to guard against permanent damage during cold weather.

3. Mulch your trees before winter sets in.

Winter drought is a problem that can cause mature trees to dry out during the cold months. If your trees are unable to draw enough moisture from the frozen ground, they will begin to dry out and die.

Covering the base of your trees with an organic mulch will help you create a moisture barrier that can capture runoff and help stave off winter drought. Mulch also provide the added benefit of insulating the roots of your trees to keep them warm during cold winters.

Preparing your trees to withstand the winter cold is essential if you want them to remain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing component in your home's landscape design. For assistance with tree care, get in touch with a company like Able Scape, Inc.