Young, newly-planted trees are vulnerable to winter damage and need extra care and attention. To keep them safe and healthy throughout the season, follow these three tips:
Wrap Them Up In Burlap
Your young trees could benefit from being wrapped in burlap or protected with a nearby “fence” of burlap in the winter. Doing so can protect them from not only salt spray but sun-scald. Burlap is a good material for protecting trees in the winter thanks to its effectiveness in allowing the tree to breathe, allowing access to moisture and light while maintaining a cool temperature. If you live in an area where damage from animals like deer is a threat, wrapping them can also protect them from this.
Make sure you remove the wrapping after the last frost to prevent pests, disease, girdling, and abrasions.
Keep Them Watered
Young trees are still establishing their root systems, so keeping them watered is essential. Gentle moisture will also help your tree establish robust root systems, so it can pull the nutrients it needs from the soil.
Before watering your trees, ask yourself if the winter has been snowy and check the soil moisture to prevent overwatering. Overwatering can lead to conditions like root rot.
Ensure Correct Mulching
Mulching is a great way to keep the soil at a consistent temperature throughout the winter season. Not only does this help keep your plants dormant during temperature fluctuations, but it also prevents soil heaving. To apply mulch, keep it around 2-4 inches deep and a few inches away from the base of your plants. If older mulch is present, mix it up to aerate it and check the depth—in some cases, you may not even need more mulch.