Homeowners across the country are beginning to experience the cold winter weather. Winter sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves are being pulled out. Heaters are being turned on to warm up chilly houses. Most people know all about how to help the inside of their homes stay warm but they are not always sure what to do about the outside of their houses. If you have trees on your property you may be wondering how to care for them during the winter. Milam’s Tree Service has some tips for you on what to do about some of the most common problems you may come up against during the winter.
Cold Stress in Trees
Cold stress is a common problem with trees during the winter. Mature trees will experience cold stress because of the quick change in temperature from daytime heat to night time freezing. The large variation in temperature can cause cracks in your tree. These cracks occur because there is stress inside your tree that affects the outer bark and inner wood and cause it to crack. Most of the time the tree will be able to repair the crack on its own. To prevent cracking due to cold stress you will want to make sure that you wrap the bark before the cold weather sets in. This is most helpful for young trees. Cold stress can also cause problems for late growth. Late season growth does not have as much time to prepare for the cold weather. If there is sudden early frost the ice crystals can rupture the cell walls on the new tips of the branches. To avoid this Milam’s Tree Service recommends not pruning your tree until it has gone into dormancy in the fall. If you prune your trees too early it will encourage new growth. You do not want to encourage new grown in the fall because of its tendency to struggle with cold stress.
Winter Tree Drought
During the winter your tree may not get enough water and can dry out. This happens when the ground is frozen and the tree loses more water than it can absorb from the frozen ground. Early spring is the time when your tree is most susceptible to winter drought. The sun begins to come out and cause your tree to grow but the ground is still frozen and the tree does not get enough water. Mulching can help prevent winter drought. The mulch provides a layer of protection for your tree by keeping the temperature regulated as much as possible.
Tree Branches Breaking in Cold Weather
In the cold weather wood hardens and becomes brittle. Brittle tree branches are more likely to be damaged by the wind. Ice and snow accumulating on brittle branches are more likely to break. Fall tree maintenance is the way to help prevent breaking branches. Properly pruning your branches in the fall will help weak and vulnerable branches before ice and snow start to form on your branches.
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Milam’s Tree Service hopes that these tips help your trees weather the winter cold as much as possible. If you haven’t taken the proper steps yet it is not too late. If you end up needing any emergency tree services this winter give us a call today.