Trees are a great way to add value and beauty to your property. In fact, strategically plants trees can even help you save up to 25% in energy bills by reducing air conditioning and fuel costs during the summer months. However, during the winter, especially in the DC Metro area, your trees need a little help from their caretakers to stay in good health.

Winter is one of the best times to give your trees the care they need. Because your trees are dormant, you don’t have to worry about harming their growth by pruning and trimming. That said, here are a few tips you can use to help keep your trees healthy this winter season.

Get familiar with tree diseases

Oftentimes your trees don’t need a lot of direct care. However, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with common tree diseases and illnesses so you can help prevent them from spreading and damaging your tree. Sick trees can be a safety hazard, especially during the winter months because they’re more likely to lose branches or fall. Depending on the distance between your tree and your home, a fallen tree can do a lot of damage.

Observe the trees in your yard regularly so you’re able to determine when something is different. Common signs your tree may be falling ill include discoloration and stunted growth. Consider keeping a guide to trees and landscaping on hand to give yourself a better idea of what’s healthy and what’s not when it comes to your trees.

Have mulch on hand

When it comes to landscaping supplies, mulch is your best friend during the winter season. Trees don’t need a lot of mulch to stay happy and healthy, but a little bit can help to protect them from the cold. Place a 2-3-inch layer of mulch around your tree while keeping it away from the bark. When the time comes to add a new layer of mulch, be sure to remove the older layer first. You don’t want to over-mulch your tree. Over-mulching or piling your mulch near the trunk of the tree can actually stress out the tree, decrease gas exchange, and kill the inner bark tissue.

Prune dead limbs

Unlike other plants and shrubs, trees don’t usually need a lot of pruning to stay in good shape. That said, if you’re looking for a specific time to prune your tree during the year, winter is the best time to do it. This is because your tree is dormant during the winter months and pruning during the spring can slow the growth of your tree. Remove any cracked branches or dead tree limbs to help your tree stay healthy. Removing dead branches is also an important safety measure. Strong winter winds can break these branches off the tree and create dangerous flying debris that could hurt you, your family, and your property.

Avoid watering in cold temperatures

While some of your plants rely on you for proper watering, you need to be careful with watering during the winter months. Watering when it’s too cold outside can cause the water to freeze before it’s able to reach the roots of your plants. It can also freeze your plant’s roots, which can severely damage and even kill your plant. The same is true for trees. Avoid watering your trees on days when it’s below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to note that much water your tree actually needs ultimately depends on the soil type, the age of the tree, the species of the tree, and the time of year. You might not need to water your older, well-established trees during the winter season at all. But your younger trees may need some water here and there on days when the weather isn’t frigid.

Get the right landscaping supplies

Whether you are moving to a new home, or taking care of an exsiting home, these tips can help. Sometimes trees have complex landscaping needs. The good news is that you can find all the landscaping supplies and hardscaping materials you need for your yard all in one place: Gateway Home and Garden Center. To learn more about the types of landscaping supplies we offer including shrubs and bushes, annuals and perennials, and pavers and stone, contact Gateway Home and Garden Center today.

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