Winter Preparation

During fall and winter, branch and canopy structures are exposed facilitating the quick detection of problems. Preparing trees and shrubs for the winter season is an important activity to help preserve the health and safety of your landscape. There are many activities that can prepare your landscape trees and shrubs for the coming winter. Autumn soil nutrient amendments can help prepare plants for dormancy and productive spring growth. Fall is an excellent time for determining potential pruning needs.

Supplemental watering of trees heading into the winter season can be very beneficial. Watering, while extending fall colors, increases moisture in the root zone which helps reduce stress from winter’s harsh weather. Maintaining a 2-3” layer of composted wood mulch helps retain moist moisture and insulate roots from cold temperatures.

Fall soil nutrition is important for spring growth, as well as long term plant vitality. Fertilization can be beneficial as preventative maintenance in correcting nutrient deficiencies for high value and important landscapes plantings.

Structural integrity can be effectively managed through pruning, generating long lived and sound trees.

Large tree removals are advantageous in winter as perennials are dormant and frozen ground often increases equipment access.

Coincidently, trees receiving appropriate pruning while young, generally require little corrective pruning as they mature. Large tree removals are advantageous in fall and winter as frozen ground can increase access for equipment and minimize impact to ground cover and perennials.

Additional precautionary care, such as antidessicant applications to broadleaf and needles evergreens, can help prevent winter damage. An antidesicant is a thin, waxy coating which creates a barrier preventing evergreen foliage form moisture loss and becoming ‘burned’.

If you haven’t yet reviewed your landscape with one of BTSE’s Certified Arborists recently, schedule a time to ensure your valuable trees and shrubs are prepared for the often harsh and unpredictable New England winter.