Cold Weather Maintenance For Trees (Part 3)

664536_41641607Issue: Winter Drought
Solution: Thick layer of organic mulch around base of tree

Winter drought can be something you may not think about. Most people (myself included) have never thought that a tree still needs water even during the winter. One of the best ways to help a tree conserve and preserve the most water possible, is to make sure there is enough mulching material at the base of the tree.

  • Purchase a rake and natural mulch, such as composite wood chips, from your local lawn and garden store.
  • Remove any debris, sticks, limbs and weeds from the base of the tree.
  • Rake the area to make the ground around the tree as even as possible.
  • Apply the mulch in a circle around the tree. Put it about the length of the limbs on small, young trees. Measure about a 12 foot span (about 3.5 m) around large, adult trees.
  • Ensure the mulch measures between 2 and 4 inches deep.
  • Using the rake, ensure the mulch is spread evenly.
  • Check the appearance of the mulch ring and make any needed adjustments to ensure an even shape.
  • Using a hose, bucket, or other tool, water the mulched tree if the soil is particularly dry.
  • Check your mulched tree throughout the season for weeds and pull them as needed.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

Cold Weather Maintenance For Trees (Part 2)

399684_9912Issue: Cold stress hinders late season growth
Solution: Avoid pruning until after the tree is in Fall dormancy.

Pruning earlier than needed can hinder late season growth. Traditionally, some of the best time to prune your trees is when they go into dormancy. The reason for this is that pruning at this time causes less stress on your trees and can help prevent cracking.

Here is what to keep in mind while pruning your trees:

  • Remove weak and dead limbs first. Pruning limbs that appear dead or limbs with leaves that look distressed is a must for healthy trees.
  • Make pruning cuts just outside the branch collar and nearly flush to the trunk of the tree. This technique provides viable growing branch bark that will enable wound healing.
  • Leave most functional limbs on newly planted trees. Pruning for form should start in the second year or third year of the tree’s life.
  • Prune forked trunks to one dominate trunk. Pruning forked trunks reduce multiple problems including poor form, excessive pruning and health problems.
  • Prune all permanent branches up to a desirable first branch height (generally 8 feet at maturity). Remember that urban and yard trees need to have a raised base for access and yard work.
  • After several years of a maturing tree, prune branches trying to space 12 to 18 inches apart. Do not prune for the first few years but wait for a period of time where the tree is growing rapidly.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

Cold Weather Maintenance For Trees (Part 1)

1428174_22265680Issue: The effect of rapid temperature change on older trees.
Solution: The tree can generally self-heal. However, you may want to invest in cold weather blankets

A Tri-Cities winter can be hard on trees, even those that are accustomed to our cold, winter climates. Stress caused by temperature, lack of water and moisture, pests, and breakage can take its toll. While you can’t do much about the weather here in the Tri-Cities, you can take steps to lessen the impact.

Frost injury can occur when a tree is growing during early fall or late spring and a freeze injures or kills vulnerable tree tissue. To avoid frost damage, plant trees that are native to the Tri-Cities area, cover trees if frost is expected, avoid frost-prone sites and stay away from nitrogen fertilizer at the end of the growing season. “Frost crack” can cause damage to trees by lengthening already existing wounds after repeated freezes.

One way you can care for your trees and lessen the harsh winter conditions is by wrapping your tree(s) in a winter blanket. You can typically find tree blankets at hardware stores like Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes. If you aren’t sure if this is the best way to go for taking care of your tree, we are more than happy to help answer any questions you have.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

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