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  • Writer's pictureLauren McLaughlin

Keeping your trees happy in winter

Winter can be harsh on trees for a number of different reasons. It might be a good idea to give your woody friends a little bit of help so that they can get through it relatively stress free.

Winter storms can be dangerous if you have trees around. I'm sure everyone remembers the destruction caused by the ice storm back in 2013. I remember how scared my clients were after that, everybody wanted to remove their trees. Don't go rushing to grab your chainsaw, a good pruning can really help trees to 'weather the storm' - removal of branches which have weak attachments, or pruning back overextended limbs can help the trees to withstand the extra weight created by the build up of ice and snow. A lot of tree care companies work through winter so it's still not too late to prune.

Winter drying is another issue that trees may face; conifers which don't lose their foliage in the winter can lose water, if the ground is frozen the water can't be replaced. Sheltering trees from prevailing winds with a burlap screen can help reduce winter drying. A burlap screen is also extremely helpful if you have trees beside a busy road as it can protect them from salt spray.

Speaking of salt.... I, for one, am terrible at walking on slippery paths (I grew up in temperate climate, I have an excuse!) so I understand the importance of salting. There is a tendency, however, to over salt. Salt in the soil is terrible for trees as it can lead to water being drawn from the roots, I recommend that if salt is used anywhere around your trees that you flush the soil with water a couple of times in the spring, I really good soaking will help to get rid of the salt and result in happy trees.

I hope this quick winter guide was helpful!

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