6 Steps To Winterizing Trees, Shrubs, & Ornamentals

Sleep quality is something we all understand. If someone doesn’t get a good night’s sleep, they probably won’t have a productive morning. This same idea applies to trees, shrubs, and ornamentals. If their winter dormancy isn’t peaceful and protected, their spring won’t be as productive.Tree on the shore of a lake
 
The winter season brings harsh conditions which can hurt plants. Cold temperatures, unobstructed high winds, and heavy snow and ice can damage trees, shrubs, and ornamentals. Winterize them with these steps:
 
  1. Water trees, shrubs, and ornamentals during drought in the fall. Believe it or not, fall can be just as dry as summertime. At the least, deeply water plants near the end of fall before the ground freezes to help plants store moisture during dormancy. Some plants will even appreciate watering over the winter; just be careful not to over-water.
  2. Fertilize plants for the coming winter. Pick an organic fertilizer formulated for your Tree branch bending under the weight of snowspecific plants. If you’re unsure of what type of fertilizer works best for your trees, shrubs, or ornamentals, give your local independent garden center a call or ask us on Facebook today!
  3. Prune branches that could touch the ground if weighed down by snow. Branches sitting on the ground over the winter invite disease and pest activity. Additionally, prune any weak or damaged branches to avoid the danger of having them break under heavy snow or ice build-up. 
  4. Support any young or weak plants with stakes or burlap so they are protected against winter winds. Create a wind break in your yard with a few stakes and some burlap to reduce wind damage to delicate plants. To avoid the breaking of delicate branches, tie them up with twine to more established branches or ground stakes.
  5. Tree with sunscaldWrap a tree’s trunk to shield it from sun damage and hungry animals—this is especially important for younger, less established trees. Sunscald, as seen on the right, is a type of damage caused by the rapid heating and cooling of tree bark in the winter.
  6. Mulch around the base of trees, shrubs, and ornamentals to keep the ground warm and reduce damage to the roots. Do not mound the mulch up against the trunk. Spread the mulch out as far as the tree’s branches to ensure you’ve covered its root spread.
No plant is immune to winter damage, but it is possible to give plants a better chance of surviving a cold winter. For more help with putting your trees, shrubs, and ornamentals “to bed” for the winter, get in touch with your local independent garden center or call us today!

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