It seems like summer was just here but now the weather is turning colder and winter is fast approaching. This means you should be preparing our trees for the long winter ahead. Winters in Toronto can be harsh, cold, with heavy snow and ice. We don’t mean to scare you. All this means is that there needs to be some tree preparation and care before the winter sets in. Our team at Five Star Tree Services want to go over some winter tree care tips that will help your trees get through the cold winter ahead.
Tip #1: Use Mulch
A great way to protect your trees during the winter is to put a layer of mulch down around the base of the tree. This is going to act like an insulator, protecting the roots around the tree. It also helps the tree retain moisture, which they will need to endure the winter. You should apply mulch before the ground freezes. It should be 2-4 inches deep but make sure to keep it away from touching the base of the trunk.
Tip #2: Water Your Tree
Even though most trees go into a type of hibernation during the winter, they need to have as much water as possible before they do so in order to survive. If they don’t get enough, they can become dehydrated. During the fall, leading up to the big freeze, you should be regularly watering your trees (granted it’s not raining a lot). They will soak up the water and store it throughout the winter. Only water your trees as long as the temperature outside is above freezing. You don’t want the water freezing around your tree.
Tip #3: Prune Your Trees
It’s important to prune regularly. Some of the best times to do this are before the winter, once your trees have become dormant, and during the winter. If you elect to prune in late fall/early winter, make sure to get any dead, diseased, and damaged branches. This is especially important for large trees, as they can become a safety hazard and break off from heavy snow and ice during the winter. Proper pruning also will help your trees in the spring, by promoting new, healthy growth.
Tip #4: Protect Against Ice & Snow
If you have been around in the last few years, you might have experienced firsthand how much snow and ice can happen. With all this extra weight bearing down on your trees, it can cause branches to snap, even if they look healthy and strong. In order to stop this from happening, push the snow off after each snowfall. But if there is ice, do not try to remove it, it can cause more damage than if you left it alone. Allow the ice to melt naturally.
Tip #5: Wrap Young Trees
Young and newly planted trees are particularly susceptible to winter damages and stress. To help protect them from the cold, wrap them in burlap or tree wrap. Think of it like a coat, it will protect them by providing an extra layer of insulation. This is also going to help against sunscald.
Tip #6: Keep Road Salt Away
Road salt is not good for trees, enough of it and it will kill a tree. It gets into the soil, damages the roots, and causes dehydration and stops the tree from getting proper nutrient absorption. If you notice road salt close to your trees, try to remove it or if you can help it, use something else, like sand or environmentally friendly deicers instead.
Tip #7: Talk to a Professional Arborist
Whenever you are unsure about something, the best thing you can do is consult a professional arborist. They can come and assess the satiation, make recommendations, and perform treatments, if necessary.
How Five Star Tree Services Can Help
It’s true that winters in Toronto can be long, cold, and difficult to get through. But with the right preparation, your trees can survive and thrive. Our team at Five Star Tree Services is here to help you every step of the way. If you need to use our tree care services in Toronto this winter, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (416) 990-3355!