Trees and shrubs usually go dormant once winter arrives, but that does not mean you should ignore them completely until spring. Winter can be the most arduous time of year for all types of plants, including trees and shrubs. Winter sun, wind, ice, accumulating snow, and freezing temperatures can damage even evergreen foliage. Your trees and shrubs also can be at risk as potential food sources for wild animals during the winter, when food is scarce. Healthy trees and shrubs add aesthetics and “curb appeal” to your property. To make sure your foliage sees another spring, follow these tips to protect your trees and shrubs from the cold and ice of winter.
Protecting any newly planted trees and shrubs should be your top priority. By their first winter, these new plants have not had enough time for their roots to advance very far in the soil. Make sure to water them thoroughly and regularly up until the first time the ground freezes. After the ground freezes, apply a layer of mulch at least 3 inches thick around the base of your young trees and shrubs. This mulch has an insulating effect, preventing the soil from freezing. Make sure not to pack the mulch too tightly or push it flush against the trunks of your trees and shrubs.
Consider investing in a tree guard of some sort. During the winter, hungry rodents and rabbits can destroy the bark of young trees. These guards often are made of plastic or wire and wrap around the tree trunks. You should be able to find them at your local garden store.
As mentioned earlier, even evergreen foliage is susceptible to damage or destruction during the winter season. This is especially true for new plants or recent transplants. You can position pine boughs or leftover Christmas tree greens over your evergreens to protect them.
Burlap can be a great utility solution to protect any shrubbery during the winter. Insert a few wooden stakes into the ground surrounding a shrub, then lay a piece of burlap over the stakes and secure it in place with staples. Make sure the burlap is not touching the foliage as it can damage the plant when the burlap freezes or becomes wet. By using this set-up, you can remove the burlap during warmer spells in the winter season, but replace it with ease the next time a cold snap approaches. Burlap or some other type of covering is recommended for a variety of broadleaf evergreen shrubs, including varieties such as azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons.
Professional Landscaping in the Tri-Cities
Winterizing your plants is fairly easy, but a mistake can prove costly and could kill your foliage. Why not let the professionals worry about the particulars? At Promier Landscapes, your professional East Tennessee landscaping service offers an array of services, including winterization that will “tuck in” your trees and shrubs until they are ready to flourish again come springtime. To learn more, call our office at (423) 246-7977.
Promier Landscapes is here to offer landscape design, construction, and maintenance to clients throughout East Tennessee, including Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol.