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Helpful Plant Hardiness

Helpful Plant Hardiness

Have you ever wondered how trees stay alive during our torrid winters? While we’re able to bundle up against the cold weather, trees are left vulnerable outside against the harsh elements. So how do they stay protected enough to bloom again in the spring? This is where plant hardiness comes into play.

But what exactly is plant hardiness? While a plant’s overall health is usually the best indicator to see if and how it survives winter, plant hardiness is more of a descriptor of a plant’s ability to survive adverse growing conditions, such as the dry, frigid winters we get here in Colorado.

We’ve mentioned before why some leaves change color in autumn, and how chlorophyll production slowly stops as part of the tree’s natural cycle into dormancy. But that’s only the start of how a tree prepares itself for winter. This is where a plant’s hardiness comes into play.

During autumn, a tree can sense the dwindling temperatures and shorter days so it starts to store its energy in the root system as the cells in the bark harden to insulate itself against the bitter winter days. The more hardening in a tree’s bark, the more it becomes cold-hardy, preserving it from freezing. 

Understanding plant hardiness is also important when it comes to planting. Arborists are also fondly referred to as tree doctors, so we want to help you plant the right tree in the right place so it can grow and thrive and we can all enjoy the benefits of healthy trees.

Plant Hardiness Map

plant hardiness zone map

In fact, we’re able to use a plant hardiness zone map to determine what species of trees will do well in certain areas. 

For instance, a tropical tree wouldn’t do well in our weather conditions due to its need for year-round rain and warmth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, oaks wouldn’t thrive in the tropics as they do better in well-drained, acidic soil. 

So before you plant, you’ll want to check not just a plant’s hardiness to see if it’s the best choice to add to your yard but take into consideration what natural elements your tree is designed to handle.

Since the zone’s map’s update in 2012, zones have shifted north, so here’s the most recently updated map so you can see what our plant hardiness zones look like and how to properly prep your yard and trees to thrive in the area.

More than that, is your yard the best place for your desired tree? While we have a host of trees and other shrubs that are native to the Coloradan soil, they can still have a harder time establishing once planted or even have a harder time growing due to our harsher elements.

However, if you’re determined to maintain a diverse landscape in your yard, or are hoping to keep that elm or locust healthy, ArborScape has an array of extra treatments that can help your tree go that extra mile in our mile-high city.

For instance, we have a great deep root fertilizer. This treatment is a blend of nutrients and organized matter that acts as a stimulant to trees to promote root health in both the fall and spring; right before and after winter. 

The timing of this treatment is pertinent as the root health can take a sharp decline in the winter months, especially here in Colorado when the soil begins to freeze. It’s best to get this treatment before the first frost to ensure its hardiness despite the frigid temperatures.

So, if you’re concerned about the overall health of your trees, or have any questions about plant hardiness, give us a call at (303) 806-8733 for a free estimate by one of our certified arborists. They’re always happy to come by and check out your trees and make recommendations to ensure they thrive.

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