Preparing your trees for the cold is an important step in order to give them the best chance of survival in the event of extreme temperatures. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your trees for winter:
Wrapping the trunk: Using commercial tree wrap, guard the base of young tree trunks to protect the bark from cracking or sun scalding caused by extreme temperature fluctuations. This is especially important for younger trees; cardboard and blankets can be used as alternatives to commercial tree wrap.
Protecting the base: Using mulch or fallen leaves, layer this material around the base of your tree in a ring formation, about to four inches in depth, making sure that the layer of mulch is not against the trunk. This reduces soil evaporation to make sure your trees stay hydrated all winter.
Pruning: The best time to prune trees is during late winter while trees are dormant. If your trees require pruning to remove dead branches or improve form, make sure to carefully select branches for removal with good reason. Review this in-depth pruning guide to learn about proper pruning technique.
Watering your trees: To water your trees efficiently and effectively, use a sprinkler to soak the area just outside the trunk, extending to the longest branches. Water this area slowly to provide maximum absorption for the roots. Watering during the winter is best done on warmer days. Urban trees often require regular watering over winter, as they are more prone to dehydration during dry periods.
If you have younger trees, take special care to prepare them for the winter, as they are more likely to be affected by extreme weather conditions and temperature fluctuations.
Want to prepare the rest of your garden for winter? Learn more here.
AgriLife Today: 15 Tips to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
AgriLife: Winter Tree Care
Aggie Horticulture: Proper Pruning Techniques