Trees and shrubs add beauty to any home, but maintaining their health during winter is a challenge. Fortunately, gardeners can take some simple preventative steps this fall to prepare their plants for winter. Plus, with help from Lawn Plus LLC, your lawn and landscape doesn’t just have to survive this winter: it can thrive!
Cold temperatures and snow don’t bother healthy plants that are hardy to the local climate. Unfortunately, winter is never consistent, and plants must face a variety of challenges each year. These include:
- Dry winds and bright sun can burn foliage.
- Frozen soil dehydrates plants.
- Midwinter thaws can trick plants into producing new growth too early.
- Freeze and thaw cycles can uproot root bulbs of young plants.
- Bright winter sun can thaw tree bark, which then cracks as the temperature drops at night.
- Deer and rabbits gnaw on bark and leaves.
Clearly, plants must face many challenges during the winter months. As such, take the following precautions throughout the year to make your plants as hardy as possible:
- Stop pruning plants halfway through the summer. Otherwise, plants will continue to produce new growth and delay dormancy.
- Six weeks before the first frost, stop fertilizing plants. This encourages them to harden off.
- Continue watering plants until the ground freezes.
Additional Tips for Deciduous Plants
Leafy plants drop their leaves and become dormant during the winter. As such, mature, healthy plants don’t need extra protection or care. Young plants, however, will benefit from the following precautions:
- Apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots.
- Protect the trunks of young trees from hungry mice and rabbits with tree guards.
- Wrap the trunk with paper tree wrap to prevent cracking.
Additional Tips for Evergreens and Conifers
Evergreens and conifers, on the other hand, do not go completely dormant during the winter. To help them thrive, take the following precautions:
- Construct a windbreak in exposed areas. Alternatively, wrap shrubs with burlap – this protects them from wind damage and deters deer.
- Brush heavy snow from branches to prevent them from breaking.
Shrub and Tree Care
For more tips on caring for your plants, contact Lawn Plus at (937) 839-5296. Our certified arborist provides expert shrub and tree care to clients in Dayton, Eaton, and beyond. Plus, we offer a whole host of lawn care and maintenance services. Request a free quote online today!