Late Winter Tree Care

Late winter weather can be erratic in the South Plains. One day it can be freezing cold with a chance of snow and the next day it can be 70 degrees with 25 mile per hour winds. It is essential to know that late winter (right before plants start growing) is the most critical time in a tree’s year. This can make or break a tree’s health and lifespan, especially during the first five years of a tree’s life. Below are tree care tips for late winter to make sure your trees are as healthy as possible.  

Inspect regularly

  • Check your trees for potential hazards. 
  • Inspect hardware in trees. If your trees have been cabled, make sure you inspect this regularly and have a professional inspect them every couple of years. 
  • Check to see if your tree’s roots are visible. If the roots of your trees are visible, you should try to push them back into the ground and cover them with mulch so that they are protected from the weather.
  • Examine smaller trees for rodent and pest damage. While prairie dogs are cute, they love to feed on roots and can cause damage to trees if they find their way onto your property. 

Don’t stop watering your trees

  • Even though it is winter, trees still need water. Especially if the tree is under five years old. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, the tree can take up moisture to keep it hydrated during the winter. 

Prune your trees

  • Rejuvenation pruning. Late winter is an excellent time for major pruning. Pruning creates a wound that the plant must seal. By pruning right before spring, you do this right before the significant growth period for a tree, allowing the tree to heal as fast as possible. Another bonus is that pruned trees will enter the growth season with an extra reservoir of nutrients within their roots.
  • Prune Promptly. While inspecting your trees, if you find that they have been damaged by winter weather, make sure to prune promptly to prevent further damage to the tree. 

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