No matter how much care you put into yard work, everyone’s goes south in the winter. Trees lose their leaves, flowers die, and bushes become a set of branches. Nothing looks nearly as it will a few long months from now. However, there are many ways to make trees look better and be healthier for spring!
Check Trees for Damage
Checking trees for damage is important during all months and seasons, and winter is no exception. Ice and snow damage are very prevalent in the St. Louis area because of how cold the winters can become. During especially cold times or bad weather, check out Tips for Handling Snow Bent Trees this Winter. Also, it is much easier to notice damage on trees from previous seasons after all of the leaves have fallen.
Deadwooding is the process of removing dead limbs from an otherwise healthy tree. This process is easily done in the winter when leaves and loads of those pesky St. Louis bugs aren’t in the way. To learn more about deadwooding and why it is good for trees, read Why You Should Deadwood a Tree.
Live Limb Removal
Often times homeowners want a live limb removed from over the home or power lines. Unless it’s deemed emergent, this is not something we would generally do until winter. Cutting off a live limb in the spring, summer, or fall opens the tree up to disease and pests. Additionally, the removal of live limbs may cause the tree to avoid growing and then become dormant too soon after the cut has been made, meaning it has not had time to heal.
Remove Dead Trees
Tree removal in the winter is not the most common practice among homeowners, but is one that should be done more often. Winter months are often less busy times for tree services because people tend to notice their trees less when they don’t have leaves, and because of this tree services often get work done quickly. Another great reason to remove a tree during the winter is that the ground is almost always frozen. Living in St. Louis means extremely hot summers and especially cold winters. So, when the ground is frozen it makes tree work much less damaging to yards. Although the use of a spider bucket has made damage to yards less severe, winter and frozen soil protect it so much more!
To Water or Not to Water
The St. Louis harsh winters make watering trees in the winter a bad idea. This is because the trees are dormant and the ground will most likely be frozen. It is best to make sure trees are saturated during the fall before they become dormant.