Even though fall is a beautiful season, it leads you to numerous garden chores. Winter would arrive in Albuquerque by early December. Therefore, you need to make sure that all trees in your garden are safe from colder weather. By doing that, you can keep them safe and healthy throughout winter. Here are some winter tree care tips that can help you with it.
How can I prepare my trees for winter?
You have a lot of options! Making ensuring your trees are healthy, well-manicured, shielded from harsh winter weather, and an asset rather than a liability to your property and the properties of your neighbors should be your main priorities. You need to look out for damaged tree branches. Then you will be able to figure out the trees that are at the risk of causing damage.
Broken tree limbs in the Albuquerque region, preparing to fall.
Examine the trees carefully
Making a strategy and visually assessing your trees to find any issues that could exacerbate throughout the winter is the best place to start. Among the items to search for are the following:
- Are there any branches that are damaged or overburdened? Immediately take care of them by hiring a professional pruner.
- Is any of the bark ill or damaged? In cold conditions, this can peel or split. To ensure that it won’t jeopardize your tree’s health in spring, get it examined by a Certified Arborist.
- Do any branches droop over onto the yard of your neighbor? Consider the big, weighty branches that hang above your house. These can crack and collapse under a weight of ice or snow.
- Is it time to add more mulch to the area surrounding your trees? It makes sense to top it up if there is less than an inch or two. Information on applying mulch can be found here.
- When was the last time you gave your trees and shrubs a slow-release fertilizer application? An organic fertilizer that has been expertly prepared will supply extra nutrients that will help the majority of suburban and urban trees.
- Are there any trees in your yard that have braces or cables? It’s a good idea to inspect the hardware in November or December to make sure it’s sturdy and won’t collapse during a winter storm. Every year, a Certified Arborist should do this.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the proverb goes. As with your house, it’s simpler to prepare your garden and trees for winter than it is to deal with an emergency.
Get ready for snow and ice
In Albuquerque, winter is difficult! It can feel like wind, snow, ice, freezing, warming, and so forth. The weather is beyond your control, but you can prepare for it.
The weight of snow and ice on tree branches can become so high that it breaks off shrubs and tree limbs. Pruning sick or damaged sections that might collapse in the winter and making sure the tree’s structure can withstand the added weight of snow or ice are the best ways to keep your trees safe.
Don’t panic if you don’t get around to pruning your trees before winter hits. During the dormant season, many trees can be trimmed. Winter pruning is really a great option for those of us who put it off until after the winter holidays because of its numerous advantages.
Take appropriate actions if snow and ice cover your trees
Don’t shake your tree if there are dangerous snow loads on its limbs! If you shake the tree vigorously, the fragile limbs caused by the cold might shatter and fall on you along with the snow or ice.
They will be more susceptible to pests and disease in springtime if you attack them with a rake or brush (yes, we have seen people do that!). You will also risk damaging or breaking branches. Leave them if you get heaps of ice! The natural melting of ice covering plants and branches will prevent damage to the bark and leaves.
Never attempt to chop through tree trunks or branches encased with ice. Your saw might easily slip on the slick ice and harm you.
Taking care of shrubs and warp trees
Before the snow falls, tree and shrub wrap or blankets should be put in place. Tender leaves and twigs are shielded from the sun and salt burn by these covers.
Burlap is the recommended material for protecting freshly planted trees and shrubs, as well as plants planted later in the season (which often result in less established root systems) and trees exposed to winter winds that can be drying, sunscald, heavy snowfall, and salt that can be harmful.
Refrain from the use of ice melt or salt
Since salt damages trees and plants, deicers, like road salt, should only be used as a last option. Instead, try shoveling or sweeping off snow as soon as it falls, and using salt or birdseed to provide grip on walking surfaces.
NOTE: Take care to prevent salt damage to your trees and shrubs if you decide to use deicers. Here is some information about avoiding salt damage.
Spread mulch around your trees
Mulch could be the most durable element in your garden! Its numerous beneficial properties include:
- Keeping water from evaporating
- Making the planting areas look tidy and neat
- Improving the texture of soil
- Suppressing weed
- Regulating soil temperature
- Protecting plants
Make sure your plants and trees have a thick covering of mulch around them to help them survive the winter. By supplying slow-release nutrients to tree roots all year long, a layer of compost placed underneath your mulch increases its worth even more.
Since mulch composed of organic materials, including wood chips, yard garbage, and fallen leaves, gradually decomposes over time, we advise maintaining a regular mulch replenishment program. It’s a low-risk investment with significant returns.
Remember that mulch should never come into touch with tree trunks due to the way trees develop. No concealed trunk flares or mulch volcanoes! If diseases or pests manage to get into your tree, these errors might be fatal to it, and mulch up against a trunk can host both. If in doubt, refer to our post on mulch application best practices.
Experience the benefits of fair winter weather conditions
Many of these tree care advice can be reviewed in clearer, warmer weather. Don’t feel pressured to finish everything at once. Don’t let the sheer amount of work needed in winter tree maintenance overwhelm you. Certain jobs are better completed early in the season, while winter is a good time to do others.
Give Independent Tree, your neighborhood tree care experts, a call if you’re unsure of what your trees require or how to spot any dangers. We can assist you in shielding your trees from even the worst of northeastern Albuquerque’s winter weather since we are skilled in all facets of tree maintenance.