Winter Tree Care
"I planted new trees this fall. Is there any special care I should give the trees through winter?" Yes, there are a few winter tree care tips the can help ensure your tree gets a good start.
Apply a layer of mulch around your tree. Applying winter mulch serves as a great insulator and helps to retain moisture and reduce temperature swings. A layer about an inch thick will do the trick. Avoid piling the mulch up against the trunk or using too thick a layer of mulch as both can cause damage or attract rodents.
Water. Yes, even in winter. Be sure to keep an eye on the moisture of the soil where your tree is planted. Winter droughts can be just as damaging as those during summer. If there is a dry spell take the time to check the soil. Dig down 4 or 5 inches and if the soil is dry or just moist, water your tree. Only water your tree if the soil is cool – do not water when the ground is frozen.
Making sure your tree is watered before a long period of freezing temperatures is also a good preventative measure. Most newly planted trees require supplemental water for a period of 3 years.
Plant more trees. Because the ground rarely freezes in the Metro-area; planting trees in the winter can be a great way to get them established. Just be sure to plant trees within the hardiness rating for your zone. And don’t forget to mulch and water!