Winter Tree Care Tips

Dec 29th 2023

In North Central Florida, we have the luxury of enjoying winter seasons without having to deal with snow. Even so, temperatures can still get quite chilly during wintertime! When temperatures drop below freezing or fall low enough to damage tropical, subtropical, and even temperate plants, your trees can be at risk of suffering! This can mean poor tree health and a lack of fruiting or flowering once spring arrives. How can you provide your landscape with enough tree care to help your trees make it through the winter safely?

Here, our certified arborists with SkyFrog Tree Services discuss four tips for caring for your trees during the winter season and beyond. Contact us to learn more and to schedule Gainesville arborist service for your property!

Prune Your Trees

Trees enter their dormant stage during the winter months. During this time, any dead, dying, or problematic branches and limbs on your tree are at risk of breaking off and falling, posing a safety hazard to surrounding structures, people, and animals. If a diseased or dead tree branch breaks from the limb in a jagged manner, the resulting cut can have a negative effect on the health of your tree and its ability to flower, produce fruit, and maintain its overall health and integrity. We recommend pruning your trees during or in preparation of their dormant season. Our arborist company offers tree-trimming services to help keep your trees healthy and strong.

Provide Proper Shelter

For residential and commercial property owners in North Central Florida, caring for the trees on their landscape during the winter months can vary from tree to tree. Younger trees often require different care than mature or well-established trees, particularly when it comes to shelter and protection. Providing trees with proper shelter, particularly new trees, trees that have recently been transplanted, and trees with delicate root systems, is essential for protecting them against below-freezing temperatures. It can also help protect than from possible animal and pest damage. Use tarps or burlap sheets to cover the roots and bark.

Mulch Around Trees

Mulching around your trees can help promote high tree health throughout each season, as it can help trees retain adequate moisture levels and heat, particularly during the colder months. For optimal mulching practices, lay your mulch several inches from the base of the tree and continue outwards, covering the surrounding soil with 3—5 inches of mulch in a level layer several feet in all directions from the center of the tree. Ideally, the mulch should create a circle around the tree. When it comes to choosing the type of mulch to use, we recommend natural options. If your property has a tree stump or a recently removed stump, you can use the excess woodchips from the stump as your mulch.

Water Your Trees

If you're caring for newly planted trees or newly transplanted trees, you should continue to water them as you would during any other season. Despite the colder weather, your trees still need adequate irrigation, particularly if they are vulnerable, such as younger and new trees. The majority of trees require up to 15 gallons of water each week or every couple of weeks, while mature trees and well-established trees may only need 10—15 gallons of water each month! If a rainstorm or heavy rainfall occurs, you'll want to take this into account in order to avoid over-watering your trees. You'll want to avoid providing your trees with irrigation before freezing nighttime temperatures, so be sure to check the weather forecast regularly!