Even if local winters aren’t brutal, Charleston is still subject to cold snaps, and the dryness of the season still stresses your trees. This is especially true if they are young. Much of what needs to be done is simple but helps your trees to thrive during a difficult season. Here are some ways to prepare your trees for winter.
Remove weeds and debris in a diameter of at least 3 feet from the tree. After that, add 3 inches of mulch and compost, but make sure it doesn’t touch the place where the trunk meets the root. Aerate the soil if it is compacted. Aeration uses a tool that drills holes into the soil around the tree without hurting the tree’s roots. The holes allow oxygen and nutrients to get into the soil. However, if you’re nervous about aeration, ask one of our arborists for help.
Give the tree a drink of water, especially if you’ve planted it within the last three years. Older trees that have seen more than a few winters probably won’t need to be watered. If you touch the soil around a tree and find that it’s dry and powdery, then water the tree. Drip irrigation is ideal, and some arborists suggest a gallon of water for every inch of the diameter of the trunk.
Prune Damaged Branches
Early winter isn’t the time to prune for the tree’s growth, but branches that are damaged, diseased, or dead can be pruned all year round. Since deciduous trees have lost their leaves by now, it’s easier to get at those branches that need to go. Large, dead branches that snap off can damage the tree and damage property or even living things that are beneath them.
Sunscald is a risk in a climate such as Charleston’s. There will be days when the sun is out and the temperature is almost balmy. This coaxes the tree to “wake up” from its dormancy. But when the temperature drops below freezing, which it probably will, it destroys the newly active tissues and injures the tree. As with watering, older trees can probably handle this, but young trees need help. To avoid sunscald, wrap the trunk in a light-colored material up to the bottom branches. When winter’s gone, take the wrapping off.
Call Us to Help With Your Winter Trees
Our professionals have been proudly serving residents of Charleston since 1989. The arborists at our locally owned and operated company not only help you see your trees through winter, but they can also remove those that are dead, dying, or dangerous. They provide trimming and pruning services, remove stumps, and help you prepare for storms and clean up afterward. Don’t hesitate to call us at Charleston Stump Stompers today.