How to Protect Your Trees from Root Injury During Winter

By: albertaarb - December 1, 2014

The winter months can be hard on plants, shrubs and trees, so it is important that they be protected by root fertilization and other methods. Roots are particularly vulnerable, and do not stand up well to extreme freezing temperatures. Shallow roots are even more susceptible to freezing temperatures as well as other issues such as disease and pests.

How Deep Root Fertilization Can Help

The best time for fertilization is during the early spring after the ground has become workable. Avoid fertilization during the fall or winter months. Doing so could encourage growth that will be damaged once the weather turns cold.

This deep root fertilization can help strengthen and nourish the roots so that they will be less vulnerable during the winter months.

Helping Your Tree's Roots In The Winter

Roots do not fare well in below freezing weather. Damage will show up in the springtime and foliage may wilt and die. It is important to protect the roots when temperatures drop to avoid this. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that the roots are insulated with a nice layer of mulch.

Be sure that the mulch does not touch the trunk of the tree, this can cause mold and rot. Spread the mulch out at least two feet around the tree. This mulch layer will also protect against moisture loss.

Trees can become dry during a winter frost if the roots are frozen and the sun and wind dry out the foliage. It is important to keep the moisture in the ground.

If you have saplings, it is important to shield them from the harshness of winter. A tree wrap may be in order for these young trees.

Aside from the weather, another threat to your tree's roots is animals. A lack of food may tempt them to snack on exposed or shallow roots. Discourage mice and smaller rodents by keeping the root area cleared of grass and brush. You may need to lay out wire mesh or cloth to protect the area.

Remember To Fertilize

Young, less established trees are especially in need of a little extra care when springtime comes. Give them the nutrients they need to get strong enough to withstand the next winter season.

Trees are a wonderful way to add beauty and value to your property. Remember to plan your placement of trees, and try to plant them in areas that are less vulnerable to harsh winds. Plant the most ideal tree variety for your area and climate, and take the necessary steps to care for them. If you are unfamiliar with tree care, contact your local tree care company to get help with pruning, disease control and deep root fertilization.

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