With winter right around the corner, it’s time to start preparing your yards for the cold months. At Alpine Tree and Lawn Care, we want our clients to be educated about problems that face Michigan yards. One of the most important things you need to do before winter arrives is to take care of your trees. It is our job to make sure your trees stay healthy and strong but there are things you, the homeowner, can do to protect your trees and save you money on expensive tree removal.
Treat With Anti-Desiccants
During the winter when the ground freezes, plants switch from absorbing water with their roots to using the water they have stored up. This is called desiccation. If winters are long or harsh this can damage your trees, especially your evergreens that do not go dormant. Anti-desiccants provide a protective coat to your trees that prevent the loss of water for several months. Anti-Desiccants can be applied to:
- Broadleaf evergreens: azalea, boxwood, holly, and rhododendron.
- Conifers: cedar, cypress, juniper, and pine.
- Perennials: roses, hydrangeas
Anti-Desiccants should be applied between November and December to ensure lasting protection throughout the winter.
Use Tree Wraps
Michigan winters can be pretty harsh sometimes. Use tree wraps to protect your young and vulnerable trees from sudden freezing and thawing that can occur during Michigan springs and winters. When we have high fluctuation in temperatures it can cause what is called sunscald. Sunscald is damaged bark as a result of the freezing and thawing that exposes the tree to pests and diseases. Tree wraps can insulate the tree and prevent sunscald from ruining the look of your trees.
Mulching in the fall is an excellent way to protect your trees from the harsh winter cold. Apply mulch to the base of your trees to insulate the roots from extreme cold. You can buy mulch from the store or make your own out of leaves.
Here in Michigan, Fall is the Time to Prune
Dead and dying branches are not pleasant to look at. They can distract from the entire beauty of the tree. Don’t be afraid to prune diseased or dying limbs, your tree will thank you for it. When a limb is cut from a tree it provides more room for other branches to fill in the spot. The most ideal time to do this is in the fall when the tree is about to go dormant. This is because you are less likely to hurt the tree.
Fertilize Your Michigan Trees
In the forest, trees get their nutrition from the delicate forest biome that has evolved over millions of years. It is when we plant these trees in our yards that they become extremely vulnerable to pests, drought, and diseases. Trees planted for landscaping or ornamental reasons face a lot of stress such as low moisture availability, soil compaction, physical damage, and poor nutrition. In the forest leaves, twigs, and bark naturally decompose and feed the roots but in our yards trees rely on us for nutrients. The most efficient way to deliver fertilizer to your tree’s roots is with a process called deep root fertilization. This method injects fertilizer directly into the root system of your trees so they can use it immediately. Deep root fertilization can make your trees more pest and drought-resistant.
Pests are the most active on your trees in the fall and spring. Fall is when they settle down, lay eggs, and find someplace to overwinter. Usually, that place is on your trees where they will remain until spring. When spring arrives the adults and eggs will emerge and start to feed on the tree. Dormant oil is one of the common methods used to prevent pest infestations. Dormant oil is applied directly to trees to kill overwintering insects and their eggs which can live on the trunk, branches, or twigs.
Get The Most Out Of Your Trees: Call The Experts At Alpine Tree and Lawn Care
The experts at Alpine Tree and Lawn Care have the expertise and equipment to protect your trees and shrubs from all manner of pests and diseases. Our tree and shrub program includes deep-root feedings and fungal sprays.
Are you tired of doing yard work year after year? Sign up for our lawn service program and take it easy next year.
If you’d like to learn more about what Alpine can do for you, give us a call! Our experts are standing by to speak to you! You can reach us at (586) 884-7799 or leave us a message online. Want to know more about tree care topics? You can check out our monthly blog or like us on Facebook!