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Winter Plant Protection in Denver

November 13, 2015

With Denver’s winter upon us, the temperatures are declining and precipitation is rising. With the humidity being so high, frost is a common condition that coats plants. Later this week, the temperature may get down to 14 degrees at night! This means that some plants and trees will require a little extra effort to keep them healthy in the colder months.
Should I Prune my Trees? The weight of snow on top of winter stress can be damaging to trees. To lessen the damage, it’s important to remove any diseased, dead, weak, or unsafe branches. Trees that tend to suffer most during the colder months are upright evergreens such as arborvitae, juniper, or clump trees, such as birch. Pruning weak-jointed branches before they become a problem is important. Did you know that younger trees can usually withstand ice storms better than older ones?
What can I do to protect my trees or shrubs from the cold and snow? Evergreens can be wrapped in burlap to protect from the sun and wind leaving the top open to allow light in. Wrapping also protects them from street salt drifts and the drying Chinook winds in December and January. Make sure to use a wrap that “breathes” such as burlap. Wrapping a plant in plastic can seriously damage or kill it. Another option would be tying the tree up so that they don’t splay out and open from the snow.
What should I do when my tree is covered in snow? Trees bend due to ice and snow accumulations and your first thought is to probably shake the tree to remove the snow. Unless the snow is fluffy and dry, it’s not recommended to do this. This is because the branches coated in ice can become quite brittle and shacking them can cause breakage or damage. The tree’s circulatory system can also be damaged because knocking the weight off the branches can cause them to snap back. As always, try to avoid walking under branches weighed down by snow and ice for safety precautions.
Need additional help protecting your trees and plants this winter? Call American Arbor Care to take care of things for you – our team is prepared to handle the winter frost and keep your trees safe. Contact us today to ensure you are best prepared for this winter’s low temperatures.