Arborist Tips to Protect Your Trees from Winter Threats

You might love the winter weather. But your trees? Not so much, according to expert arborists.

Wintry conditions can actually lead to a host of tree problems that can compromise their health. So, though you might see a beautiful winter wonderland when you look outside, the frightful weather is anything but delightful to your trees.

protect trees winter

You can’t completely protect your trees during the cold weather months. But, if you follow our arborist tips, you can take steps to safeguard them from the effects of wintry conditions.

Winter Threat No. 1: Cold Roots

Tree roots may be deep underground, but they’re still at risk for damage when the temperature takes a dive.

To insulate the roots of your trees, arborists advise applying a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch. Mulching to the edge of the canopy will help the roots stay warm all winter long.

Winter Threat No. 2: Winter Drought

Any trees planted within the last two years can suffer the consequences of winter drought. The same is true for evergreens – even mature ones – and specimens that are already stressed from insect infestation, disease or nearby construction.

For protection against winter drought, arborists recommend giving trees a thorough watering just before the ground freezes in late fall.

Winter Threat No. 3: Heavy Snow

Heavy snow can threaten the integrity of trees with multiple stems or narrow, upright limbs. If a great deal of snow piles up on the branches, the accumulation can pull them apart.

Arborists suggest brushing snow off the branches after heavy storms – but do so gently, or you could inadvertently cause breakage or damage to the tree.

Winter Threat No. 4: Falling Branches

If any of your trees have limbs that hang over your house, garage or driveway, arborists warn that winter weather stress could make them fall. And if a branch breaks, it could create significant property damage.

To prevent this from happening, consult with a local arborist. The branches in question may need cabling and bracing to remain stable. Or, if the limbs are dead, diseased or damaged, removal may be the most effective solution.

Winter Threat No. 5: Sidewalk Salt

Do you use sidewalk salt to keep your walkways free of ice? While this can help you avoid falling, arborists say that the deicer is no friend to your trees. The salt can leach through the ground and enter the root system, causing leaf browning and other health problems in the spring and summer.

Arborists suggest skipping the sidewalk salt and choosing a tree-friendly deicer, such as sand or gravel, instead.

Would you like expert assistance protecting your trees this winter? If your property is located in northern Utah, the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care can meet your needs, offering expert service at an affordable price.

Reliable Tree Care, a leader among Salt Lake City area arborists for over 20 years, offers no-cost, no-obligation comprehensive yard evaluations to homeowners and businesses. To schedule yours, or to discuss winter tree care with our arborist team, contact our Murray office today.