Naturally Trees - Expert Arborcultural Planning, Advice and Care Since 1998

Tips for preparing your trees for Winter

by Andrew Scales | May 24, 2010

Were almost halfway through 2010 and with summer over and winter fast approaching, it is a great time to be planting trees, mulching and preparing your trees for winter.  The colder weather keeps many of us out of our backyards and some times things can go unnoticed. So be sure to take the time to have your trees checked.

When autumn nights start to get cold, it’s time to prepare your trees for winter. Start with a good garden clean-up by removing weeds from your beds. For shrubs and trees, remove diseased leaves.  Don’t throw weeds or diseased cuttings into your compost, as this will only multiply these problems down the road.

Much of our suburban landscape is trees and shrubs. Autumn is a great time to have your arborist come over to look at the topside of the landscape, in some cases the leaves are off and all is revealed, including any dying or diseased wood that should be removed.

          Sure, it’s one more thing, but when that big old branch drops and causes damage you’ll wish you’d done it.

Tree maintenance - Thinning and general tree maintenance can help reduce hazards, canopy weight and bending stresses.  Diseased and dead branches can be removed and a light prune can also provide some extra sun light for the cooler months as well, so think about places in the garden that would benefit from that (If you don’t do it at all, the shade just gets heavier year after year…).

Mulching - Mulching for the winter protects trees from drastic temperature changes, insulating plants against extreme cold and also provides nutrients for the following growing season. In general, 75-100mm of mulch, such as leaf and wood chip, will provide an adequate layer of protection for your trees.

                                            REMEMBER TO KEEP MULCH AWAY FROM TRUNKS OF TREES. 

Some benefits of mulch include:

     • improved soil structure

     • enhance gas transfer (from roots to atmosphere)

     • enhance water infiltration and retention

     • prevent erosion and compaction

     • moderate soil and root temperatures

     • provides nutrients

     • enhance beneficial organisms

     • increase soil biodiversity (better growing conditions)

Watering - It’s a good idea to water your trees thoroughly before the extreme winter weather arrives.  Obviously, this won’t be necessary with good early rains.


TIP - 'Bargain mulch'

Arborist wood chips are available locally within our communities. Most sources are free or inexpensive for wood chips made from recycled trees. This mulch is ideal for your trees and is both cheap and recommended by most arborists.