WINTER TREE PRUNING
Why it's the best time to inspect and prune trees
It’s almost time to take out your warm coat and snow boots in preparation for the winter weather ahead. But what about your yard? With proper planning, there are a few precautions you can take so that your lawn and landscape are protected before the first snowflake falls.
Trees, especially younger ones, are susceptible to damage during the winter months. Have your trees pruned regularly before midsummer to reduce the chances of dead or unhealthy branches damaging your property. Pruning after midsummer promotes new growth that may not be strong enough to endure the cold weather. If you do have younger trees, applying wire mesh around its base will help protect it against hungry wildlife.
Rock salt, commonly used to melt ice on roads and walkways, can cause major damage to some plants. Try to plan your garden with this in mind and place your plants in areas where they are less likely to absorb salt run off. If plants are close to highly salted areas, consider using burlap as a barrier to keep them protected. Consider the application of antiperspirants to plants that are more susceptible to water loss to help them survive the season.
In the fall, aerate and fertilize your lawn to get it ready for the next spring. While the grass won’t absorb nutrients in the dormant season, they will be in place for your lawn when needed the most once the weather begins to warm. This will allow the grass to have a strong start heading into spring.
Rake leaves and remove any debris on the lawn before snow falls. Piling leaves can smother grass and stunt its growth throughout the winter. Making sure it’s clear before it freezes will help it prepare to grow again in a few months.
Before the ground freezes you should make sure the soil has enough water for trees and plants to survive the winter. Adding a two-inch layer of mulch around shrubs and trees can also help with erosion, warmth and water loss.
Stow away furniture and secure potted plants and anything else that isn’t fortified to prevent it from blowing away in the winter winds. This will not only protect the items, but also surrounding property from damage.