Prepping Your Trees for Winter Storms

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Prepping Your Trees for Winter Storms

Fresh snow falling on cedar pine tree branches, Christmas or holiday theme

Just as you take precautions to winterize your home, you should also take steps to protect your trees. Failure to do so will result in great damage to those lovely trees on your farm or garden.

Here we’ll examine various ways on how to prep your trees for winter storms:

1. Do some pruning

Pruning prior to winter may occur based on hazard removal, structural, and clearance.

Hazard removal pruning aims to minimize the possible hazards posed to a tree. It involves:
• Cutting off dead wood
• Eliminating broken or cracked branches
• Removing flawed branch growth like loosely attached branches

Structural pruning is part of consistent tree maintenance. It helps:
• Remove rubbing or crossing branches
• Eliminate waterspouts and suckers
• Remove secondary leader stems
• Minimize end weight on branches

Clearance pruning offers excellent access to walkways, streets, and walkways by:
• Pruning branches from a trafficked area
• Limbing up as needed to increase clearance
• Clearing tree branches around utility boxes, power lines, etc.

Pruning generally helps remove dead and dying limbs, as well as branches that rub against each other to prevent damage from windstorms.

However, pruning your trees improperly can cause more damage during a winter storm. Also, pruning your trees poorly can cause more damage during a winter storm.

2. Wrap your Trees

Wrapping your trees will provide added protection during winter storms while keeping the soil moisture close to the trunk. Use a tree wrap made of plastic or burlap (not aluminum) and cut holes where branches leave the trunk.

3. Inspect your trees for any signs of damage

Check for tree damages such as broken branches or uprooted trees. Damaged trees are more susceptible to being blown over in a storm.

Make sure you remove such tree flaws before the storm arrives. That’s because the weak or broken tree branches from falling on your home result in damage and even injuries.

4. Anchor your trees

If your trees are tall but weak, it is good to anchor them to the ground. You can use cables, straps, or ropes to secure them.

This ensures they don’t get blown over in high winds. So ensure you get rid of any dead or weak branches from the tree before securing it.

5. Fertilize your trees this fall

Fertilizing your trees in the fall will help them prepare for winter. Apply a general-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 12-4-8.

Be sure to follow the directions on the package. You can also use organic granular fertilizer to provide your tree with great nutrients.

6. Mulch and water your trees

Mulching your trees will help keep the soil moist and protect the roots. Keep the mulch at least three to four inches away from the trunk, and don’t pile it up against the tree.

Watering your trees will help them get through the winter. Ensure to water them deeply and not just sprinkle water on the surface. You can use a soaker hose or irrigation system to do this.

You can help protect your trees from being damaged during a winter storm by taking the necessary precautions. If you correctly prune and wrap your trees, you can ensure that they stay healthy and safe during these severe weather conditions.