Protecting Trees & Shrubs During Winter

Winters in Indiana can be downright cruel. Freezing temperatures, sub-zero wind chills, and a steady stream of wind, ice, and snow, will keep you inside all winter. Although many types of trees and shrubs that grow in this part of the country can survive winter conditions, unfortunately, harsh weather can still take its toll. Lawn Pride suggests some tips for trees and shrubs and protecting them through this freezing winter.

Winter’s Most Damaging Weather

Even though your thermostat says otherwise, winter’s sun is still quite strong. Its rays can dry, bleach, and burn foliage, and cause damage to or even kill bark, branches, buds, and roots. Likewise, snow and ice can break branches and even bring down whole trees. And, as we covered in our last article, salt deicing products can kill grass and vegetation. With all this to worry about, it’s no wonder your trees and shrubs stand any chance at all!

What You Can Do

Winter vegetation burn is easy to spot - it often appears in the form of brown, discolored patches on leaves or evergreen needles. This happens because roots become frozen in the winter soil, and have a hard time absorbing water and nutrients and spreading them to their distant foliage. You can help prevent this by mulching. The mulch material serves as insulation, blanketing roots under the topsoil, which allows them to retain more moisture during these tough Indiana winter months. In addition to mulching, which is more effective before the season’s first freeze arrives, you should continue watering your lawn after the temps start to fall. Your neighbors may scratch their heads watching you pull a hose through the snow (we probably would, too), but before the white stuff arrives we encourage you to water right up until that first hard freeze of the year. We’ve mentioned the importance of proper pruning here on the website and in Lawn Pride social media, and winter is when it really pays off. Keeping your trees and shrubbery manicured not only makes them look more attractive, it aids in the health of the plants, and protects them and your home from snapping limbs and branches if the ice ever builds up. Some of our customers have also reported success with burlap sack wraps around tree trunks and exposed limbs. Others like to sprinkle pine needles or straw across shrub foliage, which can act as a wind and sun barrier, while also helping trap more snow - which also serves as a protective shield. The success of these DIY tricks depends on a lot of variables, but as long as you don’t cause permanent damage to your plants, we say go for it!

I Didn’t Protect My Plants - Now What?

Now that we’re in the middle of winter, if you haven’t taken any precautions or preventative measures to protect your trees and shrubs, it’s too late to do so now. The good news is, trees have been around a lot longer than us, so a lazy lawn care summer and fall likely won’t spell doom this winter. Instead, the Lawn Pride team suggests that you start planning ahead for spring to make up for lost time, and help your grass and vegetation get a jump on the warmer months ahead. Step: Sign up for our Tree and Shrub Program. You’re also welcome to get in touch with us for more personalized tips and tricks, and lawn care assistance all year long.