Winter Tree Maintenance
Although the trees have gone dormant, winter can be a good time for tree maintenance to start rejuvenating them for next year.
If you haven’t already done so, try to complete a good fall clean-up, removing fallen leaves. Doing so can help reduce any inoculum left on the material that may infect the tree again next spring. Although most foliar leaf diseases are insignificant to the health of the tree, reducing its presence will benefit the tree and improve the aesthetics of the tree.
Though it is commonly done in spring, applying a layer of mulch around the base, directly under the tree will help maintain soil temperatures and reduce water loss during the winter. A 2” to 4” layer of mulch should be maintained around the tree, taking care to not pile it up to the base of the tree which can have an adverse effect.
Winter is a great time to prune; removing broken, dead, or diseased branches, and those with poor attachments, can benefit the overall health of the tree. Use caution when trimming trees to avoid removing live limbs or more than 25% of the crown. We always recommend contacting a certified arborist before performing any significant tree work. Improper pruning can cause problems in the future.
Finally, watering can play an important part in the health of a tree making it through the winter. Trees can benefit from water up to the point that the ground is frozen. Making sure the root zone has adequate water will benefit the tree as it awaits the spring rains.