The first snow of 2017 has made its way through the Denver area and as the rain and snow softly fell, autumn leaves fell with it… as well as many branches broke from the cold. Sadly, this happens just about every winter in Colorado; leaving many trees with limbs that have snapped from frozen sap or collapsed under the weight of too much ice. With so many people moving in from warmer states, the number of unprotected trees will probably grow faster than spring shoots. If you happen to be one of those growing new roots in the Columbine State, we here at True Performance Real Estate would like to help you “Protect Your Trees From The Colorado Winter Freeze.”
Hiring a Professional Arborist
The easiest way to prep your large yard foliage for Jack Frost’s touch is to call in a professional service. These skilled arborists can look at the structure of your trees and discern where limbs are strongest or where they are likely to break. A professional can also give you the best tips for keeping your particular trees healthy throughout the year. Fortunately, a good arborist is easy to find. A quick Google search for “Winter Pruning Services” quickly shows that you can’t swing a dead branch around Denver without hitting at least 5 or so companies with high reviews. However, if you don’t want to put forth the expense of a service, there are a few things you can do on the DIY level to give your trees a better chance at surviving the winter temperatures and heavy snow.
Pruning Your trees for the First Colorado Freeze
The first item on the list: Pruning. Clipping branches in the fall are one of the best things you can do for your trees. Removing weak branches reduces the amount of energy that the tree will need to expend throughout the winter. Once the frail boughs have been trimmed away, the tree can focus on providing nutrients to healthier limbs that are more likely to survive the snow as well as having a lower chance of needing to repair the site of a break. Remember to wait until after all of the leaves have fallen to reduce the chance of disease.
Watering Your Trees Throughout the Winter
Once you have subtracted the weak branches, it’s time to add. Winter can be a terrible time for plants to get water. Even though there are inches and inches of it all around, frozen water is impossible for trees to absorb. Wind and dry air can also suck moisture from a snowbound tree. While there is no real way to keep this from happening, you can lessen the effect by laying down a layer of organic mulch which will act as a wool blanket of sorts for your tree. Not only will it reduce the amount of water that will get drawn out of the ground and into the air, it will also act as a bit of a temperature barrier for the tree roots.
Bracing Your Trees
As one last addition, planting a few braces for young trees will help them to weather the winter winds. A triad of wooden stakes with cables and straps will give sapling support against cold blows that might otherwise have loosened them in the soil. While this might not seem so bad, icy water and snow have a bad tendency to flow into those areas and freeze; killing of much-needed roots systems.
Protect Your Trees From The Colorado Winter Freeze
While there are a few other tips and tricks that are specific to each species of tree, these general tips will keep your aspens, maples, and evergreens alive until the spring sun comes back to start them growing again. With a little effort and maybe some winter fertilizer, you’ll be able to enjoy their spreading branches throughout the rest of the year.