Winter Tree Care Tips

FINALLY Time to Prune!


You know all of that pruning you’ve been waiting to do all season long? It’s finally time! Winter is the dormant season for trees, meaning it’s a great time to get your tree in shape for spring (literally). Follow these winter tree care tips to make the most of the season.

Winter Tree Care Tips

From harsh weather to a lack of nutrients, winter can be a make-or-break season for any tree. From pruning to watering, there’s a lot you can do to help your tree survive and thrive. Proper maintenance is important in any season, but the winter is really when you need to help protect your tree from the weather and damage. Here’s how.

Winter Tree Pruning

While it’s always a good idea to prune damaged, dead and diseased parts of trees, winter is the time to help establish better structure, especially in younger trees. This may mean pruning more than just a few branches.

Now that the leaves have completely fallen and trees are in a dormant state, it’s an ideal time for preventative pruning. When evaluating the shape of your tree, look for the following branches:

  • The central leader. There should only be one main branch. Make sure there’s no competition for leaders or crossing branches, as this can compromise the strength of the tree.
  • Scaffold branches. These off-shoots from the leader should also not cross each other or risk damage.

If you’re not sure which branches should stay or go or you don’t have the proper tools to make clean cuts, contact Elite Tree Care for a professional consultation. An expert opinion is critical for younger trees that aren’t yet established as well as mature trees that are more prone to causing damage if a giant, weakened limb breaks.

Protecting Trees from Freeze

If your tree is local to the area, it can better tolerate the extreme winter temperatures. However, this doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some help. You can help protect your most vulnerable trees—the younger ones and any weakened older ones—with a few simple steps.

  1. Cover highly susceptible trees and plants with burlap, landscape sheets, or tarps that reach the ground and can trap in the warmth from the soil. Construct a frame around the plant first to help minimize contact between the cover and the foliage. Be sure to take the cover off after you’re through the harshest part of winter.
  2. Any potted plants and tropical trees should be moved to a more protected location—even a shed, garage, or basement—where they can still get light and stay warm.
  3. Continue to water your plants, especially if there hasn’t been any recent rain or snow. The moist soil absorbs more solar radiation and radiates heat at night.
  4. Cover the soil with a few inches of mulch to retain moisture and warmth.

Stronger, healthy trees require less maintenance this time of year. But this means you’ve also been paying attention to it the rest of the year to maintain plant strength. If you need some reinforcements to help reinforce your trees this season, contact the tree care specialists at Elite Tree Care today.

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