With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there’s a good chance you’re finishing up raking leaves. Many homeowners see this time of year as a chance to forget about their trees until springtime. That shouldn’t be the case, though. Now is the time to prep those trees for what’s expected to be a snowier than average winter. Here is our winter tree care checklist:
- Prune – Late fall is the best time to prune dead, diseased, and overlapping branches. Doing so strengthens the tree, encourages new growth down the road, lessens future storm damage, and even protects against disease and insects. As far as technique is concerned, remove all deadwood that is clearly visible. Prune back any branches that touch the ground when covered with rain and snow. Lastly, remove any damaged and wilted twigs, branches, and bark. One last tip with tree trimming and pruning: Avoid doing it on a regular basis. Too much trimming can actually hinder a tree’s growth.
- Mulch – Did you think that mulch could only be used for grass and gardens? Well, mulch also benefits trees a great deal! For one, it adds a layer of protection against temperature fluctuations and moisture. Simply spread a layer of mulch to cover the soil several inches deep. The area should be covered about as large as the branch spread.
- Fertilize – End-of-year fertilizing can be a bit difficult for trees in Colorado. While there are countless products that are heavy in nitrogen, this isn’t what you want for winter. Nitrogen spurs growth, particularly in new and mature trees. When the tree is supposed to be dormant, you don’t want a sudden period of growth. Contact our Loveland arborist for fertilizer recommendations. Our tree doctor can even explore if your tree would benefit from deep root fertilization.
- Water – Just because the temperatures dropped doesn’t mean your tree can thrive without water. Get into the habit of watering on warm winter days when soils are cool but not frozen. With how dry it gets in Colorado, your tree will be just as thirsty in December and January as it is during the summer months.
- Use dormant spray – Do you have deciduous trees, ornamentals, fruit trees, or shrubs in your yard? Then the right dormant spray could go a long way in controlling insects. You may notice that the majority of dormant sprays contain lime, copper, and sulfur combinations to kill pesky microorganisms. If you have any questions about which spray to use, please contact our certified arborist.