Believe it or not, winter is one of the prime times of the year to care for your trees. Lower ground temperatures and more robust, underground root growth mean that the colder months are an essential time to make sure your trees are receiving the treatment they need to flourish year-round.
Much like humans, trees need to maintain their health and wellness through holistic care. Winter tree services such as pruning, fertilization, vertical mulching, root flare excavation and dormant oil sprays can achieve a wide number of effects in keeping your tree healthy — such as killing overwintering insects and removing obstacles that prevent the nutrients and water your tree needs to grow.
Keep reading to see how you can determine if your tree requires winter services to stay healthy — and which winter services are right for your tree’s wellness routine.
Diagnose your tree’s health.
There are a few ways to tell if your tree is in failing health throughout the year.
If your tree resembles a telephone pole — meaning the trunk goes straight into the ground without a slight flared shape at the bottom — it means your tree’s roots are buried too deep and could be suffocating. Girdling or choking roots prevent your tree from absorbing the nutrients and water it requires from the soil, and they often lead to fungal damage in the tree canopy. A balding canopy and discoloration in foliage are additional signs we look for when assessing your tree’s overall health, as both can point to decaying roots.
Luckily, there are simple solutions to each of these problems that we can optimize in the winter months.
Solution 1: Root Flare Excavation and Vertical Mulching
Utilizing our unique air tool, our certified arborists begin with root flare excavation to find any underground defects that obstruct your tree from nutrients. With this process, we’ll blow out the soil and sod that are keeping your tree’s roots buried without damaging the tree itself. This is one of the most critical services we can provide for a tree in poor health.
To improve root growth, we then use vertical mulching to aerate the soil around your tree and fill it with compost and biochar to give your tree the extra nutrients it needs during the cold months. By embedding vertical columns underground, we can access the deepest parts of your tree’s root system and supplant it with the airflow, water and nutrients that your tree needs to stay healthy.
Solution 2: Winter Fertilization
A tree’s root systems are more active in the winter than any other time of the year. While it may appear dormant above ground, a tree focuses its nutrients and energy on root growth during the winter months, making it an ideal time to fertilize. This process ultimately helps your tree continue to build root mass and enables healthy foliage growth during the warmer months.
Our team uses best-of-class fertilizing products, enriched with a hybrid blend of natural inputs and synthetic macronutrients to encourage tree growth. We’ve created specialized treatments by blending different combinations of fertilization products we refer to as Carbon Infuse, Carbon Establish and Carbon Regenerate.
If you’re interested in learning more about our unique treatments, learn more here.
Solution 3: Pruning
Pruning is another integral service for strengthening your tree’s overall health. The best time for pruning is dependent on when different tree types flower, but for many trees, pruning in the late winter prepares them for new growth in spring. By removing dead and diseased limbs and branches, pruning can not only improve the overall appearance and structure of your tree, but also its health by clearing out space to increase light, air, water and other vital nutrients. Doing so in the winter can also prevent disease in trees that are prone to fungal and bacterial problems.
Our team performs two winter services known as sanitation pruning, in which we remove diseased branches and reduce limbs to create airflow in the canopy, and structural pruning, which develops tree structure, manages size and shape, and improves overall aesthetics.
You can learn more about the benefits of pruning here.
Solution 4: Dormant Oil Sprays
A 2019 study from Purdue reports that pests kill so many trees annually, the carbon storage loss is equivalent to 5 million car emissions. Cold-resistant pests thrive in the winter by taking shelter in your trees, ultimately leading to greater disease and decay.
Dormant oil sprays are a fantastic preventative measure to protect your trees against overwintering insects — with a much more reduced risk than pesticides, as they don’t leave a toxic residue and dissipate quickly. Our insect infestation services control a variety of insect pests such as aphids, spider mites, bagworms, scale and lace bugs.
Looking for experts to help?
Our team of certified arborists know trees better than anyone around. From tree trimming to removal services, plant health care and even storm cleanup and disaster recovery, our certified arborists team handles it all. Trees trust us, and you should too.