When it comes to trees and “winterizing” your trees, there are many urban legends.
East Tennessee is fortunate because, like our football team, our trees are rather hardy and may often surprise people.
However, if you must perform some winter yard labor, have in mind these straightforward suggestions:
1.If you leave fallen leaves on the ground, you won’t need to “feed” your trees.
If you don’t rake up your fallen leaves, they will degrade and return to the soil, where they will continue to feed your tree as part of its natural cycle.
It’s acceptable if you don’t like the way your yard looks covered in leaves or if your HOA requires you to do it.
Your trees will continue to grow if you feed them every five years or so, just as if you had left their treasured leaves on the ground.
The recommendations for feeding your trees are listed below.
You should be aware that feeding your trees is best done at the end of the year, ideally before December 31.
Your trees probably won’t mind if you opt to feed them in the first few weeks of January, or you can wait to follow the recommendations until the end of this year.
Unless your trees have been exceptionally stressed throughout the year by drought, heat, neighboring construction, or old age, you only need to perform this once every five years.
Instructions for Feeding Trees:
From the trunk, make your way out to the limbs’ tips (drip line)
With a 1-2 inch bulb auger, drill holes 6 to 8 inches deep along the tree’s drip line.
Put fertilizer 6-12-12 in the holes.
Complete the circle
Once the circle is complete, take a 2 foot step outside (not inward) and repeat the procedure (drilling holes 6-8 inches deep, filling with fertilizer)
2. Only smaller plants require mulching.
You can add mulch to the area around your plants’ bases.
Your larger trees often don’t need mulch surrounding them, but smaller plants can even want it to stay warm in the winter.
You choose to mulch your tree trunks, make sure to do it in a biscuit pattern rather than by erecting the world’s next great pyramid at its base.
If you pile too much mulch around your tree, it will believe it has to “root” there and you will develop girdling roots, which obstruct the flow of water and other nutrients essential for the tree’s existence and aren’t very attractive.
If you mulch around your smaller plants, be careful not to cover them in too much mulch and remember to take it off in the spring.
Only use mulch to protect your plants from harsh winter weather.
3. Winter tree pruning should not be on your list of to-dos
Simply said, dormant trees do not require anything throughout the winter months.
If you live in East Tennessee, they are essentially the same as bears that are sleeping, so they usually don’t need watered, mulched, or fed. However, when they awaken, they will be ravenous and require all the food and sunlight they can get.
And to make sure they can absorb those, they will need a trim before they awaken.
Winter is a terrific season to prune trees, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up doing more harm than good.
Once your tree has lost its leaves, it is much harder to see dead limbs above healthy limbs, even if low hanging limbs and unsightly, twisted branches are simple to spot.
And if they are high up, it is most surely difficult to reach them.
Making a list and calling us to schedule an appointment for late winter/early spring tree trimming and pruning now would be a smart idea as you are strolling around your property and observing
your trees and the work you will need to accomplish in the coming months.
Before the first leaf appears, our skilled crews and qualified tsarists will have your trees looking their best, allowing you to check something else off your “honey do” list, like clearing out the cluttered garage.
Don’t put it off since those leaves will start to appear sooner than you think.
The best tree service in East Tennessee may be arrange to provide a free assessment and quote by calling our office at 865-690-7474.