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3 Worthwhile Ways to Winterize Trees

3 Worthwhile Ways to Winterize Trees

Winterize trees

Now that we’re well into autumn, some of you may have questions or concerns about keeping your tree safe throughout the winter. Well, with over 26 years of experience in the tree care industry, ArborScape has the knowledge and experience to give you advice on how to winterize trees without breaking the bank. 

winterize your trees

Wrap the Trunk

One option to winterize trees is by wrapping the trunk. Not every tree needs this, but it does help young trees that have a more restricted root system and require more care. 

In Colorado particularly, lindens, maples, crabapples, and redbuds will benefit from being wrapped because they’re considered thin-barked trees and therefore more susceptible to sunscald and frost cracks in the cold weather and high altitude.

Funnily enough, wrapping trees isn’t to keep them warm, but instead cool. While it does get cold here during the winter, our high altitude makes us closer to the sun, which can cause significant damage to a bare tree with its scalding rays as temperatures fluctuate rapidly, which can confuse the tree’s dormant cells.

Wrapping these trees is also meant to protect them from frost clinging to the bark. So you’ll want to leave the wrap on from around November to April.

While some people wrap their trees in blankets or plastic, we’ve found that electrical tape and light-colored crepe paper work best as a barrier due to the elasticity and ability to shed water, keeping your trees safe and dry from winter frost.

And in order to best protect these trees, you’ll want to wrap the trunk just right. You’ll start by winding the wrap from the base of the trunk to the first major branch. This will protect the trunk by keeping the sun’s rays off the trunk.

Mulch Base

Another great way to winterize trees is with a mulch base. Mulch helps reduce soil evaporation, which is a huge issue here in Colorado. 

While we’ve gotten a lot of moisture this past spring and are likely to get more snow this season, being higher in elevation means the moisture tends to evaporate rather than be absorbed into the soil. So having 2-4 inches of mulch near the base of your tree can help retain said moisture.

You can even recycle your raked leaves and add them to the mulch. Fallen leaves contain a lot of nutrients that when added to mulch can be beneficial to the soil around your trees.

Mulch contains bark and other wood chips. So, as part of our sustainability efforts, our foremen are happy to leave wood chips and the like at your residence after a trimming or removal if you ask.

Winter Watering

As we mentioned above, being at a higher altitude means water evaporates faster than it can be absorbed. This is in part due to being closer to the sun, having a frozen ground, and the tree’s cells being in dormancy.

However, winterizing trees also includes proper watering. And it’s something you can do yourself or hire us to do for you so you can keep out of the cold.

If this is something you want to do yourself, you’ll want to start by finding the diameter of your tree trunk at chest height. This is because your tree will need 10 gallons of water per inch of the tree’s diameter. So if you have a thin tree that’s only about 3 inches in diameter, you’ll want 30 gallons of water.

Once you know how much water your tree needs, you water the area slowly starting from the trunk and extending to the end of the longest branches. This is the length of how wide the root system spreads out underground, so watering the entire area ensures that all the roots can soak up the moisture.

There are always more tips and tricks to keep your tree safe this winter, but if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to visit our website or give us a call at (303) 806-8733 for advice or a free estimate on how we can help You winterize trees.

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