Keep Your Young Trees Healthy and Strong in the Winter Months

For the first two years of a new tree’s life, they need a little extra attention. Proper winter tree care is essential for the long-term health of your growing saplings. Our certified arborists at Vintage Tree Care want to help ensure your young trees make it through winter with these tips.

Caring for Young Trees in The Winter

While it is unlikely we will see enough rain in Sonoma County to harm your young trees it is important to make sure their roots are getting enough oxygen as well. 

Too much water too fast can deprive their developing roots of essential oxygen needed to grow strong. If you are expecting some showers, prepare by spreading 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the tree’s trunk. This will help slow down the soil absorption and protect your tree’s developing roots. 

Newly-planted trees do not respond well to big temperature changes. This mulch will also help ensure the roots have an extra layer of protection from ground frost. With this extra warmth, the water in the soil is less likely to get too cold for your plant’s budding roots.

Winter Sunscald and Frost Damage on Young Trees

In Sonoma County, it is common for evening temperatures to reach freezing, and are then followed by crisp sunny mornings. Unfortunately for your little saplings, this common weather pattern is a recipe for disaster. 

Sunscald is caused by a tree’s bark freezing in cold temperatures and then being exposed to direct sunlight. This leaves visible and permanent damage to the bark and can compromise the tree’s health. 

Frost damage, brought on by freezing temperatures, can be detrimental to the growth of tender shoots and foliage on your young tree. A mature tree is likely to survive sunscald and the effects of frost, but this affliction could result in the death of an adolescent tree.

Covering Your New Trees During The Winter

Snow in Sonoma County is also unlikely, but temperatures can drop below comfortable limits at night, putting your trees at risk. Covering your trees can help ensure they stay healthy and strong when conditions get rough.

When is it Time to Cover Your Trees?

Most saplings will be fine in temperatures 35° or higher. Young trees are at risk of damage from the cold when temperatures hit the lower thirties. To keep your new trees out of harm’s way, cover your trees if temperatures consistently fall below 35° degrees.

Why do Trees Need to Be Covered?

To avoid sunscald in young trees, it is best to cover them on particularly cold nights. Some types of trees are at risk of additional health issues if they are not properly protected from the cold. The first few years of a fruit tree’s life are integral to its long-term health. Not covering your budding trees in cold conditions can lead to them producing less fruit come springtime.

How Do You Cover Your Trees?

Young trees will need to be draped in protective material to help conserve their heat when temperatures start to drop. Make sure your cover is large enough to reach the ground and is firmly staked down to prevent heat loss. 

Avoid heavy plastics and opt for a breathable mesh or burlap that allows moisture to ventilate properly. You do not want to put too much weight on your tree’s delicate branches, so you will need to use additional support sticks to help tent the cover.

Choose Vintage Tree Care For Professional Tree Care

At Vintage Tree Care Inc, all our arborists are fully certified, licensed, and insured. With over twenty years of experience, our team is ready to assist you with your tree care needs.

We will make sure your trees are ready for every season by keeping your trees healthy, happy, and thriving. Contact us online today to request your estimate!