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How to protect your trees in winter

Snow, ice, wind and sun can damage trees in winter. To protect them from harsh weather conditions, you need to take the appropriate steps. Here’s some advice about how to best protect your trees in winter.

Protect tree winter

Against snow and ice

Young and diseased trees are particularly vulnerable to the weight of accumulated snow and glaze, which can break branches, split trunks and uproot trees. They’re also less likely to recover in spring. Be sure to prune dead, diseased and injured branches to reduce the risk of damage. You can also hire an arborist to install steel cables to brace weak limbs. Additionally, you should cover saplings in burlap to protect their delicate branches.


Against winter winds

Cold winter winds can dry out a tree’s water reserves faster than normal, especially if it’s a broad-leaved species. This leads to a type of dehydration known as winter desiccation. To ensure your trees remain as hydrated as possible throughout winter, soak the roots in autumn before the ground freezes.


Against root injury

Abrupt changes in temperature and freeze-thaw cycles can damage roots and destabilize trees, especially those with young or shallow root systems. An effective way to regulate the soil temperature and insulate tree roots is to add a layer of mulch around the base of the trunk. You should also water your trees in autumn as it will provide another layer of insulation around the roots.


Against sun scald

This type of injury occurs when new tree-growth triggered by warm daytime weather conditions can’t survive freezing overnight temperatures. Young, newly planted and thin-barked trees such as cherry, maple and mountain ash are particularly susceptible to sun scald. To protect these trees, wrap their trunks in a light-coloured tree wrap that will reflect the sun and help regulate the bark’s temperature.


Against de-icing salt

Salt spray and salt-contaminated soil can impede a tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduce the amount of moisture around the roots. Trees that are near roads and walkways are most vulnerable to this type of damage and should, therefore, be wrapped to shield their bark from de-icing salt. You should also avoid shoveling the snow from your walkways toward trees.


Tree care services in Western Canada

At ArborCare, we offer professional and reliable tree assessment, pruning, removal and storm recovery services to help your trees make it safely through the winter. We also sell natural, non-dyed wood chip mulch. Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment with an experienced arborist in Calgary, Edmonton or Kelowna.

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