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5 Important Tree Care Activities for Winter

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, Feb, 24, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

Corona Pruning SawWith much of the country buried in snow, it's hard to think about getting outside and doing any kind of yard work. However tree care experts agree, Winter is the time to get out and prepare your trees during dormancy and get them off to a great start in Spring. Last week on Corona's #treechat via Twitter, our guest host, The Care of Trees, offered some excellent tips Winter tree care as well as other industry experts. What tree care activities are essential for Winter? Here is quick excerpt from the Jan 5th #treechat transcript.

5 Tree Care Activities for Winter

1: Mulching
@thecareoftrees: A great mulch is the one yours trees already provides, fallen leaves
@VoiceOfTreeCare: Mulch piled too high can cause rodent damage
@thecareoftrees: Avoid "volcano mulching"
@arborjet Proper mulching is important in any season We have a good reference video
@arborjet: Placing mulch around base of your tree helps moderate temperature fluctuations & moisture loss in winter
@NJTrees Recent studies show the BEST thing you can do for trees is good mulch. Helps fertilize the roots too.
@MaryStematik: wood chip mulch, over time, can replace fertilizers
@MaryStematik If there is no snow on the ground, and you haven't yet mulched, now is a good time

2: Pruning
@thecareoftrees: Dormant pruning is one of the best things you can do for your tree in the winter
@thecareoftrees Pruning during dormant months can reduce chances of injuring surrounding landscape when compared with pruning during other times of the year
@thecareoftrees Pruning is ideal as the potential for disease to spread is diminished during dormant season
@thecareoftrees Energy stored during the winter in roots and branches is channeled to fewer growth points in the spring
@thecareoftrees: Dormant pruning lowers the risk of disease spread through pruning cuts
@NJTrees: Pruning trees in winter is also good exercise!
@VoiceOfTreeCare best time to prune fruit trees, Late winter, when temps are mid-50s to low-60s
@thecareoftrees: Dormant pruning helps provide a tree with a growth spurt
@VoiceOfTreeCare: Make sure not to prune more than 25% of the tree as it can cause shock to it.
@thecareoftrees Without leaves, an arborist can easily see the branching patterns of trees, crossing branches and weak crotches
@thecareoftrees: For more information on winter / dormant pruning check out our flyer at http://ht.ly/3z0n7

3: Caring for Limbs
@DaveyTree: If limb breaks off from snow & remains in tree canopy, remove the stub and properly cut soon as weather allows
@DaveyTree Plants are flexible, so knocking the weight off may cause them to "snap" back, potentially damaging the circulatory system.
@thecareoftrees: Painting or tarring over cuts prevent trees from healing naturally.

4: Remembering Safety
@DaveyTree: If a limb breaks and becomes entangled in a power lines, notify your utility company immediately
@DaveyTree: Preventative pruning and hazardous tree removal should be performed before potential storms of late winter and spring
@DaveyTree Be mindful of walking or parking under branches weighed down by snow or ice as they may snap and fall, causing injury or damage
@thecareoftrees Cabling also helps reduce stress damage from high winds and excess ice or snow weight
@thecareoftrees: If your tree is already braced, have the hardware inspected in winter. For more info: http://ht.ly/3z0fg

describe the image5: Watering
@DaveyTree: Water trees during dry spells... even during winter. Evergreens and new plantings are susceptible to drought
@thecareoftrees: Conifers can benefit from winter watering every now & then when the soil is dry, not frozen
@arborjet: Right before winter, spraying evergreens with anti-desiccants helps seal moisture.

For more information on winter tree care, please visit The Care of Trees' FAQ. When you're not sure about a specific job or tree care task, please visit Tree Care Industry Association site to locate a certified arborist near you.

Join Us for #treechat

Have questions or comments about tree care? Join us on at our new time, beginning January 18th, "Tree Tuesdays" at 11:00AM/ 2:00PM EST, when @CoronaTools connects with top tree care industry professionals on Twitter, to discuss relevant tree care topics. It's free to participate and you can get your questions answered, learn tips and how-to's from the experts, enter to win weekly giveaways and more. Not on Twitter? You can access the transcripts from each weekly chat that are posted on the #treechat Facebook page.

Tree photos are courtesy of Brenda Haas of BGgarden.com

Tags: #treechat, tree care