While winter may be a time for dormancy for the majority of your landscape, it still needs a little TLC to see it through the cold months. Just as your yard has four distinct seasons of growth and rest, it also has four distinct seasons of landscape maintenance. This is our definitive list of winter landscape chores that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Spread some mulch.
Mulch around trees, plants, and shrubs to add extra protection for winter. Mulching is an important control for erosion and loss of water. A 2-inch layer of mulch will reduce water loss and help maintain uniform soil temperature around the roots. As you mulch, be certain not to cover the trunk of any shrub or tree. Mulch holds moisture and can cause trunk and root rot if it is spread too heavily in a volcano shape around the base of a plant.
Make time for dormant pruning.
The late dormant season is best for most pruning in our region. Pruning in late winter, before spring growth begins, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short amount of time before new growth begins. To properly prune your trees, inspect the tree thoroughly and cut back only failing or decayed branches. Unless you are absolutely confident in your tree pruning capabilities, we recommend consulting an expert (like us)!
Continue watering evergreen trees and shrubs.
Insufficient watering can result in serious damage to plants from dehydration and/or disease. Evergreens need stored-up water to make up for what they lose through their leaves, especially in the cold, dry air of winter. If you water nothing else, water evergreens and any trees and shrubs that were planted this year or last. Newly planted trees haven’t had time to grow a large system of roots to absorb and store water, so they need frequent watering to make up for it.
Use landscape-friendly deicing materials.
Salt and melting agents for snow and ice can damage plants and trees by drawing water away from their roots. Get rid of extra salt by flushing out the soil with plenty of water. A more landscape friendly choice to prevent slick steps is sand or litter.
Check regularly for winter storm damage.
Winter storms can bring high winds and heavy snow, which can turn dead limbs into falling hazards. While trees may seem to be a pretty simple thing, they require serious care, including periodic inspections by an ISA certified professional to assess the health and stability of the tree. An arborist can evaluate the potential damage a storm can do to existing trees and enact a plan to protect against said damage. Following a major storm event, schedule a meeting with an arborist to take a look at the trees on your property to evaluate their soundness.
Goods Tree and Lawn Care wants to help you keep your Harrisburg, PA landscape in top shape all year long. We’ve made it our business to offer quality services to promote good health for the trees, plants, and lawns you enjoy. Find all the ways we can help here: https://goodstreecare.com/services/.