5 Tips to Winterize Trees


| 1/23/2014 12:30:00 PM


Tags: Tips To Winterize Trees, Winter Lawn Care, Oregon State Extension Service, Urban Forestry, Plant Hardiness, Denise Ruttan, Paul Ries, Farm And Garden, Across the Fence,

white-oak
Photo by Lynn Ketchum

Your trees may still need attention even in the coldest days of winter.

In the life cycle of a tree, winter is the time when trees go dormant and growth slows down, said Paul Ries, an urban forester with the Oregon State University Extension Service. The strongest parts of a tree are its trunk, branches and roots, so they normally survive winter weather quite well. In the spring, new growth emerges in the form of twigs, buds and leaves.

But the success of this new growth depends in part on the tree over-wintering well, Ries said. That makes winter a great time to take action on pruning and other maintenance tasks – particularly for deciduous trees, he added.  

"It's a good time of year for winter tree care because Oregon doesn't have the same freeze and thaw cycles that happen regularly in places like the Midwest," Ries said. "Frequent thawing out can be hard on trees."

In the various ecological regions around the state, trees face different challenges in winter. Coastal trees endure the force of strong winds and salt damage. Strong enough winds can cause trees to adapt their growth to deal with the extreme conditions, Ries said. That's why you'll see trees surviving in a bent position in windier environments.




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