Michigan Winter Tree Care | Practical Tips

Winter Tree CareWith a forecast for 5-8 inches of snow in parts of Michigan for the coming week, we thought it worthwhile to provide practical winter tips for your trees.  As Michiganders know all too well, winter (and Michigan winters in particular) brings with it cold temperatures, icy winds and snow.  These elements create substantial stress on your trees.  Therefore, it is imperative to give your trees some extra TLC in the winter – and by doing so, you will be rewarded with healthier trees come spring.

Water your Trees

Although not as intuitive as summer droughts, winter can, nevertheless, be every bit as dry as the summer, despite the cold temperatures.  As such, your trees will require watering – even in the winter.  If temperatures allow, an occasional winter watering for young trees can go a long way in preserving their overall health.  However, be sure to water only when the soil and trees are cool, but not frozen.

Mulch to Preserve Moisture

Put composted, organic material (mulch) under your tree in the fall or early winter to help preserve moisture, increase available nutrients and reduce the effect of extreme temperatures. A thin layer of compost will act like a blanket and will give tree roots a little extra winter protection.

Wrap Trees – Particularly Newly Planted Trees

Sun scald and wind damage can be prevented by wrapping the tree trunk with a commercial tree wrap, plastic tree guards, or any other light-colored material. The wrap will reflect the sun and keep the bark at a more constant temperature.  Put the wrap on in the fall and remove it in the spring after the last frost. Newly planted trees should be wrapped for at least two winters and thin-barked trees for up to five winters or more.

These are but a sampling of the practical tips to keep your trees healthy during the winter.  As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  If you have any questions about how best to keep your trees healthy during the winter, please don’t hesitate to contact us.