Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pruning in Winter

The best time for pruning varies with the type of tree but it is generally accepted that early winter is a good time to prune deciduous trees, as long as it is not frozen!  If there is no freezing yet, the leaves are gone and you can easily inspect the branches and tree structure for any signs of weakness.

For Evergreen trees and shrubs, you should wait until after the last winter freeze before pruning.  Early Spring is best.

After a heavy snow, your trees and bushes might be icy and covered with snow.  It is best to wait until everything thaws before trying to assess damage.  Shaking snow or ice off a plant can cause even more damage to it. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Protecting Arborvitae Through Winter

Although Arborvitae are frost-tolerant, they are easily damaged by snow and wind storms.  This can leave frustrating bare spots.  Some people cover their shrubs in burlap, but that isn’t very visually appealing.  Some experts recommend using thick rope or rubber straps.  Don't use wire as it can scar the plant.

The best approach is to wrap the twine around the outside of the plant like the stripes on a candy cane, starting at the bottom and working your way up.  Pull it snug but not so tight that it breaks branches and deforms the shape of the plant.

Remember to remove the rope or straps early in the spring so the tree will grow and move naturally.