FREEZE AND THAW DAMAGE

Understanding how temperature can impact your trees can help you identify potential issues before they become serious. At Tree Artisans, we understand that fluctuating fall temperatures can damage trees, shrubs, bark, and soil. This can lead to a couple of common cold-related injuries: frost heaving and winter bark cracking (splitting). To help prevent problems such as these on your property, we have included some information for you to follow.

Frost heaving causes the soil to move and crack. This movement can break roots and even push entire shrubs out of the soil (and lead to potholes). This type of damage is most common on shrubs and recently planted small trees.

Frost cracking is another form of tree damage resulting from temperature fluctuations. The cracks can later be colonized by decay fungi or serve as an entry point for various borer insects.

If you have any questions, please call 719-822-6733 today.

FALL PLANTING

Thanks to cooling temperatures and increased rainfall, the fall season is a great time to plant new trees. Because there’s less drying out, tree survival rates increase. Root growth also increases and improves tree stability, and more water and nutrients can be absorbed to prepare for next spring’s growth spurt.

However, depending on your zone, certain species of trees – including maple, birch, beech, and dogwood – are considered fall planting hazards. These trees are more susceptible to cold winter temperatures and shouldn’t be planted in the fall. New transplants should be mulched with wood chips or other organic material to insulate the soil and maintain soil moisture. Mulch should be applied from just off the trunk to the outer drip-line. If the weather is dry, irrigate the root zone deeply but do not apply water directly to the trunk.

WINTER INSPECTION

Winter storms and high winds can lead to broken, bent, or hanging tree limbs. Careful inspection of the trees and shrubs on your property can help prepare them for the months ahead.

Cabling trees having a weak V-crotch is recommended. Pruning to eliminate weakened branches is a good idea, too. Cracks or breaks should be inspected for harmful insects and disease organisms in the spring. Inspect roots carefully. Special attention should be given to leaning trees. They are subject to high wind loading (top heavy) and may be susceptible to root failure.

 

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REGULATING TREE GROWTH

Frequent pruning is required to maintain tree size and prevent interference with buildings and sidewalks. Structural issues may be present in trees that grow quickly. In these cases, extra care is needed to maintain root crown ratios and reduce the potential for trees to topple during windstorms. An alternative solution for such trees is growth regulators.

Tree growth regulators slow the growth of woody plants. Applied to the soil immediately adjacent to the stem, the growth regulator is absorbed and translocated throughout the crown. While growth isn’t stopped, the process is slowed significantly for a period of approximately two years. In addition, treated plants demand less water because of the growth regulation. Growth regulators can be applied throughout the year and are an excellent way to manage fast-growing trees.