Midwestern winters are known for being frigid and unrelenting. Winter conditions may be tough to handle, but that doesn’t mean it should prevent you from managing your trees with care. With over 50 million residents throughout the Midwest, ranging from Missouri to Ohio, there are plenty of homeowners seeking advice on how to keep their trees from withering during colder months. Here is a winter tree care checklist you should employ this winter, so snow, rain, and ice won’t prevent your tree from working past St. Louis’ colder months.
Preparation is Key
Make sure whenever you’re purchasing any tree species, they can adapt to Midwestern winter conditions as they stand a better chance of lasting amidst harsh cold. During autumn, ensure you water your trees as much as possible, especially if your area got little rainfall during summer. With evergreen trees and younger trees, this is essential as they are more prone to hazards or serious issues caused by winter weather.
Additionally, if limbs and branches are over your house or sidewalk, prune them before temperatures get too cold and remove any that seem unsafe or are dying. Don’t wait. Prune early and often once your tree has entered its dormancy period and remove all fallen or destroyed leaves, so they are not exposed to potential diseases, among other life-threatening dangers.
Add Mulch and Fertilize
Make sure to put down a layer of mulch around your tree’s base while creating space between the mulch and the tree’s trunk so nutrients can flow in and keep pests out. Mulching and fertilization, as well as hydration, ensures trees keep those necessary nutrients to help them battle wear and tear from the battering they take during winter time.
Keep Out Rodents
Make sure you rodent-proof your tree and check it as much as possible for any damage caused by rodents. Should your tree’s surroundings be known for attracting rodents, use bait or traps to discourage them from feasting on your tree. Furthermore, wrap the lower main stem, especially if it’s still early in its development stage, to prevent it from sunscald and damage from rodent feeding.
Be cautious when and where you apply salt to deal with accumulating snow as sodium chloride within salt can be detrimental to a tree’s health.
Should you have a tree that has its canopy covered by ivy, clear the ivy before weather conditions worsen. Also remove any invasive vines as snow and ice can end up trapped within the leaves of the vines, endangering its health and appearance.
Take note of these tips and ensure your trees can endure what’s to come as it starts to get frosty through the Midwest.