While Georgia winters are mild compared to some parts of the country, temperatures still dip below freezing an average of 48 days per year in Atlanta. But many Atlanta residents and business owners don’t know how to winterize trees to protect their saplings and young trees from winter weather.
At Southern Tree Pros, our experienced tree specialists know the environmental challenges Atlantans brave every winter. As the weather patterns become more unpredictable, winter storms are becoming more frequent, damaging many trees and posing a danger to people, cars, and houses with their falling branches. This step-by-step guide will teach you how to winterize trees and when to call on a Sandy Springs, GA tree service for professional help.
Step 1: Remove Dead Wood from Your Trees by Pruning Them
Dead bark and branches provide a safe space for pests and fungi to multiply, which can damage your trees. Our arborists recommend removing all dead wood from the trees in your yard as the first step in preventative maintenance.
Pruning makes trees more resistant to the strong winds, hail, and sleet from winter storms. Some trees can die from neglect if they go too long without pruning, especially those with twisted growth patterns with branches that can splinter, bow, or break during harsh weather.
As days grow shorter in autumn, trees undergo a process that arborists call “senescence.” Their internal processes slow down until they turn dormant, making early winter the perfect time to prune. You won’t get as much sap on your clothes, and you can make cleaner cuts since you don’t have to contend with a thick canopy.
Step 2: Apply Some Mulch on the Ground Surrounding Your Trees
Applying several inches of high-quality mulch will preserve moisture and nutrients on the ground surrounding your tree roots. Creating a tree circle with an additional mat barrier is a good idea. This will prevent pests from infesting the root system.
Our specialists recommend applying only up to four inches of mulch. Any more than that will encourage the growth of fungi and leave an opening for bugs who want to steal nutrients directly from the tree bark.
Step 3: Insulate Your Trees from Wildlife Activity and Freezing Temperatures
A recent study from Trees Atlanta reveals that Atlanta has the highest number of urban trees in the United States. The freezing temperatures of winter can cause wildlife to rub, chew, and hang on the bark and branches of these trees.
Protect your trees from animal activity by putting a tree wrap around their bases. Additionally, you can create a perimeter out of chicken wire around the tree, protecting it from rabbits and deer during winter.
Step 4: Transport Potted Trees Indoors During Winter Months
Small potted trees, particularly newly planted trees, are more susceptible to damage from frost, so you need to move them indoors or insulate them during winters. You can move them to a freeze-resistant indoor area like your garage or use tree wrap to insulate them if you prefer to keep them outdoors.
Step 5: Call a Professional to Make Sure Everything is in Order
If you want to winterize your trees but don’t know where to start, contact Southern Tree Pros at (770) 841-1684 and ask for a free consultation. Our experienced professionals can guide you through the entire process by examining each plant, tree, and stump. Then, we’ll create an easy-to-follow winterization plan to ensure your trees last a lifetime.
If your trees have succumbed to a winter storm, contact us to learn more about emergency tree services or schedule tree removal.