In the winter months, Florida weather may not be as extreme as in other places of the country, but we still need to pay attention to our landscapes and trees as we prepare for another spring and summer season. Even one night of temperatures in unseasonal cold temperatures of thirties and forties can do irreparable damage to plants and trees that are not ready for them. Taking proper precautions to prepare your vegetation for cooler, drier weather could potentially save you hundreds or possibly even thousands of dollars in repair and replacement as you gear up for warmer months. Read on for additional information on how to properly care for your vegetation, and look forward to uncovering healthy trees, plants, and vegetation in the spring:
Tip #1--Avoid winter pruning
Research shows that the optimal time to prune most tree types is late summer, early fall. Trees are growing at this point, and any wounds incurred from the pruning process tend to heal more quickly. If you do not have experience or knowledge on pruning, consider calling in a trained arborist to provide tips, advice, and services that will allow for efficient pruning and optimal healing of your trees.
Tip #2--Water regularly
Believe it or not, trees and shrubs still need regular watering during the winter months to ensure their health when spring arrives. You only need to water your trees 1-2 times per month, as many tree species lie dormant or at least partially dormant until spring. Test your soil with a firm stick or screwdriver--if the probe goes into the soil easily, there is no need to water. However, if it is difficult to penetrate beneath the top layer, then you’ll need some H2O TLC for your trees.
Tip #3--Avoid tree desiccation
Desiccation is the process by which a tree loses more water during drier months than it takes in. This will be evident with the development of brown leaves and needles on your vegetation. There are several anti-desiccation products that can be applied to the leaves to prevent excess evaporation from occurring. If you are attempting to apply the product yourself, always follow the product labels and wear appropriate protective gear for your own safety.
Tip #4--Consider wrapping young trees
Trunks of young, tender trees can be particularly prone to sunscald and dry air, both of which can damage developing layers of bark. Trees that are exposed to extreme temperatures develop damage at a cellular level. Once this has occurred, it is very difficult for a tree to continue forming a protective outer layer of bark that will serve it well as it matures. Wrapping trees with arborist-approved material will help to nurture and protect young bark, providing an extra layer of insulation that will keep moisture in and extreme temperature fluctuations out.
Tip #5--Apply new mulch at the base of each tree
Mulch provides an extra layer of warmth and moisture in the winter months, and it helps to cool your root base in the summer. Use coarse materials such as pine nuggets, cedar chips, or pine straw applied to a depth of 3-4 inches around the base and closely monitor moisture levels to ensure that you aren’t overwatering. The mulch forms a magical barrier that keeps temperatures more consistent and moisture locked in toward the base of the tree, which is precisely what it needs to thrive again come spring.
Tip #6--Apply fertilizer for maximum growth potential
The perfect time to prep your lawn and trees for substantial growth in the spring is in late fall/early winter, when temperatures cool. Ask your professional arborist for their recommendations on the best type of fertilizer to use and where to apply across your landscape for best results.
Tip #7--Take care of those holiday decorations
The holidays are officially over, and it would be wise to unwrap some of those holiday lights and decorations, giving your beautiful trees an opportunity for some downtime before spring begins. Wrap up those lights, put away those lawn ornaments, and prepare your winter yard for some beautiful blooms in the spring.
Need a little advice on winter prepping? Call us!
Fey and Sons, LLC are passionate about all aspects of landscaping and tree care. Professional arborists are on hand at all times to answer questions, administer care, and make recommendations for a more beautiful yard. Beautiful landscapes begin with knowing how to care for them properly, and the passionate staff at Fey and Sons can help you do just that. For more information on how we can help uncover and develop your best landscape, visit https://www.sarasotatreeservice.com/.