Winter and Trees

Bark and Roots. Winter Tree Care Continued.

As winter strorms hit the midwest, you have to be prepared for everything. Storms could dump ten inches of snow, create winds of 70 mph, or drop four inhes of rain in one day. If you are concerned about your trees, and you should be, you should be considering the harm that fluctuating temperatures can inflict. In reality, you need to be not just thinking, but taking action to keep them alive and healthy.

The two primary problem areas would be the roots and the bark. If you can help these two areas with proper winter tree care, your trees will most likely make it to spring.

The root system of a young tree can be seriously harmed by intense temperature fluctuations. Somewhat sunny days and cold nights thaw and freeze the soil. This impacts not just young trees but also shrubs that can be partially uprooted by this change in climate.

Our Certified Arborists have a few more tips to help you give the trees a helping hand. Mulching is a very successful remedy and almost certainly will not cost you something. Leaves will make a superb mulch, but to make the effective, you need to run your lawn mower over them a few times to get them small enough. Then spread the leaf mulch around the base of the shrubs and young trees. But not more than 3-4 inches deep.

You can also use wood chips to about six inches around the base of the tree. If you use wood chips, stay away from letting them touch the bark because there will be a tendency for fungus growth.

If your trees and shrubs are likely to be subjected to drifting snow or especially severe winds, you can also safeguard them with burlap screens attached to stakes. This will keep them from being uprooted by high winds.

The bark of young trees specifically smooth bark trees is vunerable to splitting during the winter. The tissue heats up inside the sun, and starts to expand. At night, there is a sudden drop in temperature causing the bark and cambium to split. This is like your skin splitting in the cold.

The remedy is relatively straightforward. Purchase a roll of tree wrap or burlap and wrap it around the trunk of the young tree. As a rule of thumb, you are going to require about ten feet of wrap for a tree that is roughly two inches in length. Start at the bottom and wrap the tree from the root to just beneath the lowest branches, overlapping the wrap by about 1 half inch. If you get rid of the tree wrap in the Spring, you ought to be in a position to store it for use next Winter