Did you know you can do tree maintenance in the winter? While there isn’t as much in-depth maintenance, like you’d see for the spring and summer seasons, keeping up with your trees during the colder months will help them flourish when its warmer. Here are just a few ways to ensure your trees come out strong on the other end of winter.

Get Some Shades – The sun can be quite intense when it’s reflecting off a fresh layer of snow. It heats up the bark of the tree causing it to exit the dormant stage. However, when the temperature drops again the cold temperature will shock the newly thawed tree. To avoid this, the tree can be wrapped up in a lightly colored material or painted with latex paint. Both will help keep the sun off the tree.

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Clean Up the Mess – For new trees avoid areas where the snow builds up or make that area part of the shoveling route. It’s best to avoid areas where rock salt could build up and damage the young tree. If unavoidable, consider an alternative de-icer such as kitty litter or sand.

Ease Off The Fertilizer – Fertilizer is wonderful for freshly planted trees, but to ensure they’ll last the winter it’s best to stop fertilizing about 6 weeks before the first frost. Let mother nature do its job when the ground freezes, keeping the nutrients with the roots of the tree.

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Let It Be – While Pruning is great throughout the year, as winter closes in, some trees could be more vulnerable to the elements; especially with freshly exposed areas. Stop pruning your trees mid-summer/early fall to keep them growing and healthy through the colder months.

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