The fall season is in full swing here in Boise. The temperatures are becoming cool, the leaves are bursting with color, and before we know it the winter season will be upon us. While much attention is placed on tree care during the spring, summer, and fall months, winter tree care is often neglected.
As we’ve mentioned before, your trees are best pruned when in their dormant stage. This is typically after the foliage has fallen from branches and limbs. While this is a great start toward preparing your trees for the harsher conditions of winter there are still a number of recommended steps to help your trees weather the winter season.
Boise Winter Tree Care Step One: Pruning
I’ve said this previously, so I’ll only touch on it for a moment. Pruning is best completed when your trees are in the dormant stage. Weak limbs, dead branches, or branches and limbs that are impinging on power-lines and property should be pruned. You’ll protect yourself and your property while maintaining the health and aesthetics of your trees. Also, you’ll mitigate the risk of weak or over-sized branches becoming dangerously weighted down with snow and ice.
Boise Winter Tree Care Step Two: Pre-Winter Watering
You should continue watering your trees until the ground freezes. Once the ground freezes the root system of your trees will cease to pull in moisture. Watering until ground freeze will help to ensure your trees have stored enough moisture to survive the winter months.
Boise Winter Tree Care Step Three: Mulch
One way to increase the retention of soil moisture is to apply mulch around the base of your trees.
Spread mulch two to three inches thick around the tree base while tapering the thickness outward. leaving about six inches from the tree base clear of mulch is recommended. Piling mulch against the trunk of the tree can trap excessive amounts of moisture which can lead to disease and fungus growth.
Boise Winter Tree Care Step Four: Tree Wrapping
Wrapping your tree trunks is one way to prevent winter tree damage, especially for younger trees. Wrapping the trunk of a younger tree can help to protect the tree from frost damage. Likewise, deer and other animals can wreak havoc on younger trees through nibbling at the bark.
You can wrap the tree trunk with burlap and secure with wire or twine. This can lessen the chances of freeze related cracking. To protect your tree trunks from animal damage you can encircle the trunks of your trees with chicken wire.
Boise Winter Tree Care Step Five: Minimize Salt Exposure
Salt is terrible for your trees. Minimizing your trees exposure to salt is highly recommended. Salt extracts moisture from the soil and root system of the tree. In short, it can put your tree into a drought state even though there is ample snow cover.
Thankfully, Boise mostly uses sand for snow and ice conditions and your trees along roadsides will likely be safe from excessive salt exposure. Likewise, you can use sand as well for your walks and driveways.
Much attention is placed on tree care during the spring, summer, and fall months. Often trees go neglected during the winter.
Winter tree care and preventative maintenance is crucial for maintaining the health and beauty of your trees. You can perform five simple steps to help your trees weather the winter conditions. This includes watering, minimizing salt exposure, mulching, and more.
Mountain West Arbor Care is available to help you with all of your Boise winter tree care needs. We’re staffed with a team of ISA Certified Arborists that have the knowledge and experience to help you prepare your trees for the winter months. Contact us today to learn more!