Prepping Trees for Winter in the DMV

Winter tree care and preventative maintenance is crucial for maintaining the health and beauty of your trees.  You can perform five simple steps to help your trees weather the winter conditions.  This includes watering, minimizing salt exposure, mulching, and more.

Step One: Pruning

Pruning is best completed when your trees are in the dormant stage.  Weak limbs, dead branches, or branches and limbs that are impinging on power-lines and property should be pruned.  You’ll protect yourself and your property while maintaining the health and aesthetics of your trees.  Also, you’ll mitigate the risk of weak or over-sized branches becoming dangerously weighted down with snow and ice.

Step Two: Pre-Winter Watering

You should continue watering your trees until the ground freezes.  Once the ground freezes the root system of your trees will cease to pull in moisture.  Watering until ground freeze will help to ensure your trees have stored enough moisture to survive the winter months.

Step Three: Mulch

One way to increase the retention of soil moisture is to apply mulch around the base of your trees.

Spread mulch two to three inches thick around the tree base while tapering the thickness outward. leaving about six inches from the tree base clear of mulch is recommended.  Piling mulch against the trunk of the tree can trap excessive amounts of moisture which can lead to disease and fungus growth.

Step Four:  Tree Wrapping

Wrapping your tree trunks is one way to prevent winter tree damage, especially for younger trees.  Wrapping the trunk of a younger tree can help to protect the tree from frost damage.  Likewise, deer and other animals can wreak havoc on younger trees through nibbling at the bark.

You can wrap the tree trunk with burlap and secure with wire or twine. This can lessen the chances of freeze related cracking.  To protect your tree trunks from animal damage you can encircle the trunks of your trees with chicken wire.

Step Five: Minimize Salt Exposure

Salt is terrible for your trees.  Minimizing your trees exposure to salt is highly recommended.  Salt extracts moisture from the soil and root system of the tree.  In short, it can put your tree into a drought state even though there is ample snow cover.

If you have any questions, contact us! Hometown Tree Experts is happy to provide complimentary consultations and quotes!

Call us at 301-250-1033