Dormant Trees Still Need Care: Caring for Trees in the Winter
Trees often go dormant in the winter. They stop growing and their leaves fall off.
But this doesn’t mean they are dead, or don’t need care. In fact, the opposite is true. Dormant trees need as much care, if not more care, than active trees do. While a tree’s growth may not be apparent during the dormant season - a tree is still very much alive and active even while it isn’t producing leaves or fruit.Often dormant trees are thought to be in hibernation for the winter. Trees may appear inactive during the winter, simply because they sense that winter is coming, and they start to reserve and regulate their metabolism. Because of this, their leaves die off, and they appear to be dead. But during their dormant season - trees are actually very active and their root system continues to grow.
Here are some helpful tips for caring for a dormant tree.
Pruning during dormant seasons helps to strengthen the trees, and will help to encourages strong, new growth in the spring. Damaged branches and twigs should be pruned. Branches that stoop to touch the ground when heavy with snow should also be removed as branches that touch the ground can encourage pests to cause damage to the tree.
To the untrained eye, tree branches that still have life in them may appear completely dead. Additionally, improper pruning can cause irreversible damage to a tree. This is why, in most cases, it’s generally best to leave pruning to a professional.
Mulching is encouraged throughout all seasons of a tree’s life. During a drought, proper mulching can help to preserve moisture. During the winter and cold seasons when a tree is dormant, mulching can help to keep a tree from freezing. Proper mulching will protect a tree and regulate the temperature.
To mulch your trees, apply a relatively thin layer of mulch over the soil. Several inches is usually deep enough. Cover an area as wide as the tree’s branches are. If your tree is in a poorly drained area, this may be a good time to aerate your tree’s soil. Waterlogged soil or ground that is too compact can cause the tree’s roots to suffocate.
Even dormant trees need water. Since the tree’s root system will continue to grow throughout the winter, trees are still very much alive throughout the winter months. Take care not to overwater in the winter however, as it’s easier to over water in the winter than the summer.
For more information on winter tree care contact Ability Tree Experts, Houston’s leading tree care specialists. If you would like professional advice concerning the condition of your trees contact your Houston tree experts today. 281-441-4179