Winter doesn’t always have to signal the loss of trees and shrubs. Often, we think that with winter and colder temperatures, we resign ourselves to losing some trees and shrubs. But there are many practical methods to use that will not only keep your trees alive but also set them up to flourish one the spring comes. The key is preparation now before the freeze comes and a few tricks to sustain you through the winter.

Fertilize if you Can
Generally, it is not recommended to fertilize after temps drop and stay cold, but if you can get in one last fertilization, you should. Think about using a fertilizer spike to set up your trees for a great spring. Any tree that sheds its leaves can and should be fertilized until the temperature causes the ground to freeze.

Hydrate
Before the consistently cold weather sets in, you should deep water your trees. Don’t overwater, but make sure you are giving your trees a consist and thorough drink while the weather is still above freezing. Keep watering for as long as you can. It becomes harder for roots to draw water when the ground is frozen. Your trees might benefit from the Root Haven system, in this instance.

Keep Warm
Applying a thin layer of mulch can act as insulation for your tree and roots. Mulch will also keep the tree roots hydrated. As temperatures go from warm to cool to cold and back to warm, this layer can also act as a temperature regulator for your trees and shrubs. Protection from this fluctuation is also essential to help your trees and shrubs survive the winter months. Mulch should be not mounded around your tree trunk but set away from the trunk. The mulch really shouldn’t meet the tree trunk at all.

Wrap and Shield Your Trees
Once the snow flies, you’ve likely noticed new trees hidden behind canvas or burlap walls. This shield adds a layer of protection in a few different ways. First, this layer can protect against brutal cold and dry winds. This material will also potentially be protecting them from the salt mixture used to combat ice on the roads.

And don’t forget to wrap. Wrap for your tree trunks will act as a barrier against the sun reflection from the snow. As the trunks are close to the ground, they can pick up substantial reflection from the snow on a sunny day. This reflection can cause burning or scald on tree trunks. Some newer trees might not survive this.

Your trees are facing a battle this winter. Dry winds, sun reflection, cold temperatures, and more are all going to take their toll. Winter is not ideal, but you can get through it. Plan to keep your trees protected, and you will reap the rewards in the spring with healthy and hearty trees and shrubs.