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January 12, 2017

Winter Tree Care

Just because it’s dormant doesn’t mean there isn’t something to do…
Caring for trees in the winter is another aspect of keeping your trees healthy and happy all year long and providing them the best opportunity to not only survive but thrive. So, what do we recommend during the dormant season to keep your trees healthy? Here are a few basic guidelines to help.
• Mulch-we are not so much concerned with what type of mulch you use, hardwood or pine straw, we are more concerned that you mulch if at all possible. Mulching at the proper depth, which by the way is 3”, serves several purposes. It aids moisture retention during dry periods. Remember summer of 2016. Mulch also allows for improved air and water percolation. Roots need air as much as they need water to do their job so having the critical root zone of the tree covered in mulch helps with root development. Mulch reduces competition from turf grass. Remember, we said if it at all possible to have your trees mulched is great but we realize that many times that is not possible. When mulching, keep the mulch away from the trunk of the tree. Pull the mulch away from the trunk as the added moisture can invite unwanted pests and encourage the development of adventitious roots in the mulch layer. Don’t forget that some of the best mulch and fertilizer for your trees is provided naturally- leaf litter!
• Fertilize-with air temperatures on the colder side and soil temperatures still warm enough to allow for root development, winter is a great time to fertilize and provide your trees with some nutrients. Think of these like vitamins for your trees. While these products can be utilized anytime, they perform best during the dormant season, allowing for maximum performance. Fertilizers promote a healthy environment for tree growth. Winter allows for optimal uptake of the products to be used during spring flush.
• Rooting stimulants-these are a great addition to tree care protocol as well. Remember trees can’t just get up and move if they aren’t happy, so providing the trees with all the supplements needed for healthy plant growth is essential. Like taking fish oil to help make everything in our body work better, the microbes and organic matter we place in the soil maximizes the relationship between tree roots and the soil web.
• Soil compaction-this unseen enemy of healthy root systems can be alleviated by introducing Downey’s proven soil de-compaction process. Using a commercial compressor forcing air into a unique grow gun apparatus reduces soil compaction through fracturing, opening pore space for water, air, and biological movement in the soil.
• Roof and building clearance pruning-now is a great time with the leaves gone to make an assessment of overhanging limbs, reduce the opportunities for squirrels and possums to make the leap from tree to attic. It is a bit scary to contemplate squirrels scurrying through your attic, possibly chewing electrical lines or raising havoc in other ways. Take a walk around your home or building to assess whether or not you are providing a bridge for the critters to take a stroll into your attic where it is nice and warm. Downey Trees, Inc. is happy to help with clearing the jump zone to make it a gold medal jump for the squirrels. Providing building clearance now can also prevent issues with spring storms. Keeping weak and hazardous limbs away from your structure and/ or removing dead and or dying limbs is a great preventative program to complete during the dormant months.
• Tree pruning-removing deadwood, elevation, and roof and building clearance, and dead tree removal are all excellent projects for these dormant months. Wondering how we know what is dead and what is alive? Our trained arborists can identify hazardous situations with your trees, even with no foliage on them! Also, corrective pruning can best be accomplished during dormant months as structural maladies are easily identified.
Unsure of what your trees need, then contact Downey Trees, Inc. and we are happy to help by putting you in touch with our professional arborists.

January 12, 2017