How To Prepare Your Tree For Winter

How To Prepare Your Tree For Winter

How To Prepare Your Tree For Winter

The Winter season in some parts of the world can be tough on humans but tougher on trees. While you are toasting yourself in front of the furnace the entire day, the trees can experience frostbite and may die if there is no arborist service around to call in. You need to protect the trees as they will provide you shade when the summer season kicks in. So, let’s discuss how you can prepare your trees for winter.

Prune The Tree

The first thing you need to do as part of winter preparation is pruning the trees. If you live in an area that experiences snowfall, the accumulation of snow on the branches of the tree can make them heavy and pose a hazard. Therefore, you should make sure that the tree is clear of deadwood and if there are any limbs or branches that are tilting to one side, you should either prune or remove them.

Dead branches and wood pose a serious threat because there is danger of them falling without any warning. In the past, there have been several incidents where huge and heavy branches have fallen on cars, bystanders, and homes, causing significant damage.

More Mulch

It’s common in summer for the soil to frequently freeze and thaw. This also means that the soil contracts and expands repeatedly. As a result, the roots are damaged and the saplings are heaved out of the ground. This calls for maintaining the temperature of the soil. Therefore, you should consider insulating the roots to ensure slow moisture loss. This can be done by adding 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the tree’s base in the early winter or late fall.

At the same time, make sure that you do not pile all the mulch against the trunk since the base needs to breathe. Spread the mulch in a donut shape instead of a volcano to properly secure the base.

Additionally, add the mulch only when the ground has frozen. Otherwise, it won’t take time for the mice to take up residence in the cozy setting.


If you have planted new trees, water them before the ground freezes, throughout the autumn season. The reason is that water acts as an insular. Plant cells that are insulated with water are more likely to survive extreme weather conditions as compared to dry ones.

Wrap The Trunk

Another effective way of preparing your trees for winter is by wrapping the trunk. Fluctuating winter temperatures can lead to an injury called “Sunscald”. When the warm winter sun kicks in, the cells become active by coming out of dormancy. However, as soon as the temperature drops below the freezing point, the active cells along with the conductive tissues are killed.

Therefore, to avoid such an injury, a good practice is to wrap the trunk of the tree with a light-colored crepe paper wrap. However, allow some room to breathe as well. One or two layers might suffice depending on the size of the tree but do not apply excessive layers.

Some people paint the trunks white to reflect the sun, which is a better solution as compared to the temporary wrapping seasonal solution. Wrapping requires more and repeated labor each year but is relatively more attractive. So, the decision lies entirely on personal preference.


Never use any ice melt product near the trees that contains sodium chloride. The reason is that rock salt hinders the ability of the roots to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients.

Instead, you should opt for products that contain magnesium chloride, potassium, and calcium. And during days of extreme snowfall, you should go out and try clearing as much snow from the branches as possible. Use a hot water faucet to melt the ice instead of breaking it.

Final Word

While trees offer several benefits, the winter season has its own charm. You should make sure that your precious trees are as protected against the winter chill as you are. The above-mentioned tips in that respect will act as preventive measures, ensuring that your trees survive the chilliest of seasons. For best practices and timely diagnosis of tree problems, contact tree services Kensington and let them decide if it is able to live or not.

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