Evergreens will accumulate more snow and ice during weather events in winter, which increases their likelihood of breakage during these storms. Evergreen also transpire water through the foliage on warm winter days, which can lead to desiccation especially if the soil is frozen.
Routine pruning should be performed to promote strong growth habits and to remove poorly attached branches. On plants with multiple stems or poor growth habits, support systems such as cables or temporary wrapping with soft twine can support the plant during the winter.
Ensure that soil is moist before the onset of freezing temperatures. Mulching the root zone of evergreens will conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperatures that will help reduce the risk of desiccation.
Tree care often goes neglected when it’s cold outside and trees are dormant. Unfortunately, this lack of attention can actually predispose trees to winter injury and storm damage. For instance, trees that are not properly pruned to remove dead wood and structurally weak branches can cause significant property damage during a storm. Efforts to maintain tree health now can improve vitality and reduce unnecessary risk. The following practices are recommended:
- identify and manage over-wintering pest populations - prune dead, broken and interfering branches - check for structural weaknesses and install cables or braces if necessary - replenish mulch to give root systems an extra layer of warmth - wrap evergreens to prevent animal damage and keep deicing salts away from plantings
When was the last time you had your trees inspected by a certified arborist? Winter brings colder weather that can wreak havoc on your trees. Even this year, there may be problems with pests and diseases surviving thanks to the relatively mild winter. Careful inspection of the trees and shrubs on your property can help prepare them for the months ahead.
It’s worthwhile to protect your investment in your landscape with inspections to avoid expensive tree and shrub replacements later on. A program of managed health care for trees and shrubs involves regular inspections throughout the year by a professional arborist to identify and correct conditions before they reach the “crisis” stage.
A tree cable consists of a length of extra high strength steel attached between branches with bolts in the upper crown of a tree. They are typically installed on multi-stemmed trees or when there is a large, out-stretched limb. Cables are intended to limit the movement of the supported branches so they are less likely to fail during extreme weather. As trees are continually exposed to the elements, cables are an ideal solution to help high-value or large trees or those close to structures withstand the high winds of winter.
After the cooler temperature of winter, spring is a critical time for practices that will help maintain health and help ensure a lush growing season. Here's a helpful checklist:
Cut back herbaceous plants. Any remaining winter interest perennials can be cut back now.
Remove dead plant material, dead leaves and dead branches.
Edge planting beds in preparation for new mulch. Create a shallow edge to avoid damaging existing plant roots and do not place soil against the stem of woody plants.
Top-dress beds with new mulch. Don't exceed a 3-4 inch layer and keep mulch away from woody plants' stems.
Apply dormant horticultural oil sprays just before new growth begins.
Fertilize plants and adjust soil pH as needed.
Monitor for early spring insects.
Prune plant material that blooms on new wood.
Plant trees and shrubs. If you live in an area experiencing a drought, delay planting until the fall.
Foliar diseases caused by fungi are common this time of year. With this in mind, as leaves appear, it is important to notice anything unusual in the foliage of your trees.
Some signs of an issue include:
Discolored or dead “spots” on leaves
Unusual coating on the leaf surface
Browning or yellowing on the outer margins of leaves or along leaf veins
Bumps or pustules on leaves
Loss of needles on conifers
Virtually any tree species can be impacted by foliar diseases. Infected trees can be unsightly and tree health issues may arise when defoliation, or loss of leaves, occurs. Effective management varies according to the underlying problem so trees with symptoms should be inspected by a certified arborist.
Tree Artisans 3415 Cedarlawn Dr. Colorado Springs, CO 80918 www.treeartisans.com 719.822.6733