If you have a garden with lots of lovely trees, you need to know how best to care for them during the winter months as temperature fluctuations can really take their toll. We had a very mild December followed by a much colder start to the new year, so here are some tips to help you look after your foliage this 2017.
If you have young trees or tropical ones and you’re worried about frost cracking, you could consider wrapping the bark up to help them weather colder temperatures. You can buy tree blankets to help with this.
Another issue you may come across is early frosts, which can have an impact on late growth. Ice can damage the tips of new branches, which could then die off later on in the year. To avoid this, don’t prune your tree until it’s gone into dormancy during the autumn. If you prune too soon, you might encourage new growth of the tree and frost damage could become a problem. Also avoid using a fertiliser that has lots of quick-release nitrogen in it as this can also cause issues.
You can also help to prevent drying out during the winter (when a tree loses more water than it can take in from frozen ground) by laying down organic mulch around your tree base before winter really takes hold.
Another problem at this time of year can be rodents, which look to trees as a source of food when it’s scarce elsewhere. Check your trees regularly and leave a gap between your mulch and the tree trunk. Wire mesh can also help to protect your trees.
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