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5 Tips To Prepare Your Trees for Winter

Trees add more than beauty and shade to your landscaping. They are also an important investment on your property that you expect to last through multiple seasons — including winters in the Twin Cities. 

Minnesota winters can be harsh, which means your trees will need special care, but there are certain tasks you can do to help prepare your trees to withstand the cold season to thrive again in spring.

Here are a few ways to prevent common tree damage sources during winter.

Prevent Road Salt Damage

Salt used to de-ice roads and sidewalks can build up in the soil of nearby trees and plants. The accumulated salt injures roots and is ultimately absorbed by plants and shrubs.

Expert Tip: Avoid planting trees or shrubs near a road or sidewalk, or wrap them in burlap to prevent salt spray from soaking into the roots. Burlap is not a foolproof solution to salt spray, but it can help minimize the damage.

You can also use alternative de-icing salts, like calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate.

Guard Your Trees Against Wildlife

Trees in winter become attractive places for mice, rabbits, voles, and deer to feed or nest. Rabbits, in particular, can chew through the bark and girdle a tree.

Expert Tip: Clear grass and other vegetation within 2 feet of younger trees to discourage mice from feeding on the trunks of your trees.

Remove brush piles and other forms of protective cover to prevent rabbits from nesting near your trees. You can also protect your tree trunks by installing mesh hardware cloth that can be kept year-round.

Deflect Sunscald With Tree Guards

Occasionally, the sun comes out briefly on cold days and heats thin layers of bark before moving behind the clouds, refreezing the bark. This effect is called sunscald, and it causes rapid freezing of bark tissue, causing the bark to crack.

Expert Tip: Wrap young trees with tree guards or wraps to protect them from sunscald.

Continue To Water Your Tree To Prevent It From Drying Out

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High winds and winter sunlight can dry out trees, especially if you just planted a tree within the last two to three years. Dry tree branches can be hazardous if snow and ice get too heavy.

Expert Tip: Water your trees from October till the soil freezes. Watch for any signs that branches on your tree are dying. Professional arborists can help with pruning and plant care, offering the best advice to help maintain your trees throughout winter.   

Address Diseases & Pests Immediately, Not Next Season

Pests and diseases can lay dormant during the harshest winters and emerge in the spring. Trees infected with some diseases can even survive all winter, spread the infection to other trees, then die immediately in the spring if it hasn’t received any treatment.

Expert Tip: Keep an eye out for signs of infestation and disease like dark veins on the undersides of leaves, cracks near the lowest branches, and lumps that look like fungus. Call a Certified Arborist to provide plant care so you can enter spring with healthy trees.  

Consult the ISA-Certified Arborists at Bratt Tree Co. To Prepare Your Trees for Winter

If you’re looking for professionals in the Twin Cities to ensure your trees stay healthy this winter, call Bratt Tree Company. We’ve served the Twin Cities region for over 30 years, and safety is our top priority for any residential or commercial tree service.

Our team of ISA Certified Arborists will:

  • Diagnose and treat sick trees
  • Check for signs of infestation or tree diseases
  • Offer professional recommendations to help protect your trees from wildlife, road salt, sleet, and other dangers

Request service from our ISA Certified Arborists by calling 612-721-4153 or contacting us online.

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Our job is never complete until you are 100% satisfied with our services.

Upfront Pricing

We offer 100% transparent pricing to all our valued customers, so you know what to expect.

Trained Technicians

Our ISA-certified arborists are trained in the most advanced industry tools and techniques.

Commitment to Community

We’ve proudly delivered trusted tree services to the Twin Cities for more than 30 years.

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