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Preparing Trees For Winter

December 9, 2011
Northern-Sun Print
The Gladbrook Trees Forever Committee encourages residents to prepare smaller and newly planted trees for winter.  Before the ground freezes, water all trees thoroughly and cover the saturated soil with a 3-inch layer of mulch.  When mulching, think doughnut not volcano for a finished look.  Keep mulch about 2 inches away from the trunk to allow the tree to breathe.  For protection from small animals gnawing on the bark and sunscald bursting the bark from the tree, apply tree wrapping paper which is available at garden centers and nurseries.  Tree trunks should be wrapped from the ground up to the lowest branches or about 4 feet high on the trunk.  Tie the tree wrap securely at the top and bottom with a string or twine.  Remove the tree wrap as early as the ground begins to warm in the spring to avoid trapped moisture that may contribute to mold and virus growth or provide a breeding area for insects.  Black field tile should not be used as tree trunk protection because the color black absorbs heat during warmer periods of winter, which creates thawing between the tree trunk and inner sapwood.  As colder weather returns, the moisture freezes.  After several cycles of thawing and freezing, the bark can burst from the sapwood causing premature death of the tree.  Protect your trees for winter with the methods described above and your trees will flourish next spring, beautifying the landscape, and creating a cooler, healthier environment throughout the summer.


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