Although the US continues to have sporadic weather events, groundhog Phil the renowned “Weather Prophet'' has predicted 6 more weeks of winter. You may have already caught glimpses of spring in your region, or wrapped yourself in a couch cocoon longing for spring blooms. We must affirm the health of our trees before trekking into a new season. Neighborhood trees contribute much more than just shade, oxygen, and aesthetics. Trees can help mitigate cold winter weather. The Arbor Day Foundation says a well placed tree on your property can reduce gusts of winds from 35 to 10 mph.
A proper pruning is the greatest gift you can give a tree this season. This technique should be implemented after trees have become dormant. Removing damaged, broken or diseased limbs support the health of existing branchings and new growth. Thinning branches allows penetration of sunlight and air to the center of trees. This preventative measure ensures the longevity of your tree and decreases susceptiblility to insects and disease. If a branch appears to be bent over from the weight of snow do not disperse. The weight of snow may make the limb brittle and weak- therefore snow removal may cause damage to branches.
Experts from Davey Tree inform that half of the tree's weight is water. And yes that water can freeze! “Once winter arrives, trees move some of that water into the spaces between the cells. This helps keep the inside of the cell from freezing, which would cause the cell to die. That relocated water then freezes first, which gives off a tiny burst of heat and helps keep the actual tree cells from freezing. While all of this is happening, trees also turn the starch inside their cells to sugar, which makes cells even more cold-tolerant.” So be sure to keep your vegetation hydrated. Well moisturized soils absorb solar radiation and retain warmth better than dry soils. Mulch aids in the prevention of moisture loss while insulating tree roots. Do not be afraid to get a little dirty! Removing weeds from under the trees canopy will also aid in the absorption of heat.
For more winter tree care visit our friends from Davey Trees at Davey.com!
Quote from Can a Tree Freeze to Death in The Winter? The accompanying image can be accessed here.