Joanna visits with Kristin Hildabrand, Warren County Extension Agent for Horticulture, to discuss winter tree care.
As trees in our urban and suburban landscapes prepare for winter dormancy and cold, they could use a little extra care from you to ensure a good start in the spring. Good cultural practices and proper plant health care make a difference in how much water is available to your trees in winter and how well they survive. Tips for winter preparation include: Apply Tree wrap- to held with sunscald and frost cracks; Smooth or thin-bark trees like honey locust, crabapples, linden, and especially maple, are susceptible to sunscald and frost cracks because of the temperature fluctuations from sun exposure in the winter; Uses a flexible, white tree wrap and brown craft paper; Protects the tree from sunscald injury and from rodents chewing on the bark; and Make sure to apply after a hard freeze and then remove in the spring to reduce potential damage from disease and insects. Mulching- benefits trees all year long, not just during the spring and summer months. Make sure to refresh 2-4 inches of organic mulch such as wood chips, bark, or other organic mulch over the root zone of the tree. Start at the base of the trunk, but not against it, and extend mulch to the edge of the outer branches or dripline. This will reduce soil evaporation, improve water absorption, and insulate against temperature extremes.

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Warren County Cooperative Extension Service