While many shrubs go dormant for the winter, intense sun, shifting temperatures, dry, windy conditions, and low soil moisture could still take a toll. Specifically, evergreens suffer as they stay active during the season and frequently get cold damage.
Read on to get solutions to the question, “Can I protect my shrubs from winter weather damage?
Set the Scene Before the Cold Snap
The first step in safeguarding plants from winter damage is to irrigate before the first freeze correctly. While it is a great idea to hold back on water during the fall to let plants harden-off for winter, it is crucial for shrubs to go into winter with sufficient soil moisture. After a couple of fall frosts days, irrigate shrubs and apply a layer of mulch to control temperature and soil moisture.
Irrigate! Even in the Cold
Even if much of the landscape appear dormant, remember many shrubs are still using water. Watch the weather and be mindful of accrued precipitation every month. Broadleaf and needled evergreen shrubs need sporadic irrigation during the winter since they continue to lose water through transpiration, particularly during windy, dry periods when sunlight is strong.
When shrubs lose water quicker than the roots can replace it, the plant becomes dry. In severe cases, whole limbs can dry up and die. Consistent irrigation guarantees moisture is available during crucial times, mainly when soils are cold, and water is at a reduced amount.
Examine your shrubs for signs of dryness during the season. Broadleaf evergreens like rhododendron and camellia will have orange or yellow discoloration while evergreens will turn brown or rust.
Freezing Temperatures Are Here! Take Protective Measures
Despite your best efforts to pick climate-appropriate material for your gardens, unexpected weather will undoubtedly happen. When the weatherman warns of remarkably cold temps, take the time to protect your shrubs in your landscape and the rest of your home. Remember, they are an investment and add to the overall beauty and value of your home.
As mentioned earlier, watering shrubs several hours before a freeze is the best defense against damage. During a short cold snap, cover your shrubs with sheets, blankets, or burlap, sheets for insulation. For top protection, use a frame to stop the covering from contacting the bushes. Contact a tree specialist if you need assistance.
Trees are made of ½ water, a less amount in winter. If the temp drops low enough, the water in even the most adaptable tree will freeze.
So how do trees endure below-freezing temps? They can’t move south or produce heat like a mammal. The below-ground parts of a tree are insulated by a layer of snow. This is vital to winter survival. However, the exposed parts of a tree aren’t so protected.
Do Trees Have Unique Ways of Handling Winter Cold?
To endure winter cold, a tree starts its preparations in late summer as days get shorter. Cold acclimation happens slowly and includes many physical changes in stems, roots, and leaves. And while fall colors get all the attention, it’s what trees do later in the fall that is the most stunning and is difficult to see.
Ways Trees Stop Freezing
Arborists suggest three ways in which trees prevent freezing. One is to alter their membranes during the cold weather so that the membranes get more flexible. This lets water migrate out of the tree cells and into the areas between the cells. The relocated water applies pressure against the cell walls, but this pressure is counterbalance as cells shrink and take up less space.
The second way a tree keeps from freezing is to sweeten the fluids in the living cells. Come autumn, a tree changes starch to sugars, acting as an antifreeze. The fluid in the living cells get stronger with these natural sugars and reduces the freezing point in the cells. Because the cell membranes are more bendable in winter, they’re squeezed by the enlarging ice crystals.
The third way is where the liquid cell contents get so thick that they appear to be solid, a sort of molecular suspended animation that imitates the way silica stays liquid as it is cooled into glass. This third mechanism is set off by the progressive cellular dehydration that stems from the first two ways and allows the supercooled contents of the tree’s cells do not crystallize.
All three techniques are intended to stop living cells from freezing. That’s the key for the tree; don’t let living cells freeze.
If you are concerned about your trees handing the winter weather, one of our arborists will be more than happy to consult with you on the health of your trees.
To fell trees safely and correctly, you must know the basics of bore cutting, sometimes called a plunge cut. On trees with forwarding lean, the customary race to the hinge back cut will sooner or later cause a dangerous barber chair in which the tree breaks at the base, falling in a wild manner. On trees leaning backward, a bore cut lets you use wedges to influence the direction of its fall.
When you do a bore cut, a strip of wood at the back of the tree keeps it secure, giving you all the necessary time to create the hinge precisely the way desire.
Why are Folks so Unwilling to Bore Cut?
Folks are usually reluctant to use the bore cut since they believe it causes kickbacks. Your saw won’t kickback if you direct with the bottom of the bar tip instead of the top. Practice getting use to it.
The next time you fell a tree, have a stump around two to three feet high on which to practice bore cutting. Steady the saw to make a horizontal cut. Instead of using your index finger, use your thumb on the throttle. It’s much better for parallel cuts. Vision where you want your hinge to be.
Hold the saw, so the bar is vertical to the back of the hinge and start to cut into the stump with the bottom half of the tip. When the bar tip is entirely covered by wood turn, the saw with the tip as the pivot until the saw is equivalent to your hinge’s backside.
Create the bore cut in the hinge’s back until you have sliced entirely through the tree. Then cautiously cut in the direction of the hinge until it is the right size. The hinge length should be around 75% of the tree’s diameter at chest height. The thickness of the hinge should be about 10% of the tree’s chest height.
When you are satisfied with the hinge, cut the opposite way (away from the hinge), keeping a strap of wood on the backside that will keep the tree securely on its stump. Slicing through the strap from the outside is easy and quick. You can be securely away from the tree when it falls.
If you don’t feel comfortable cutting into your tree, contact Buffalo Tree to do your bore cut for you.
Trees decorated with light strings look merry for the holidays. Or any time of the year for that matter. To light trees and shrubs for holidays and to have your tree lights look their best is to pick the right trees and shrubs in your yard to illuminate.
An Emerging Trend
Outdoor decorators and tree specialists have seen the light, and they aren't going back to the dark side anymore. Don’t just wrap lights around the branches. Get a string around the trunk as well.
Leafless, bare trees (deciduous trees) are the best types to be covered with lights. At night, their limbs and trunks become dreamlike particularly horizontal-spreading variations. Tree trunks wrapped with red or white lights show off their upright, vertical forms at night and entice the eye upward toward the sky.
How to Pick the Ideal Tree to Illuminate
To begin, pick a tree in your back or front yard that is a central point. What to consider or look for:
Size is apparent here. If you have a huge tree in your outdoor space that's the centerpiece of your property, light it up!
The number of lights and strands and your budget: there’s a saying: “a little goes a long way." Don’t use this when it comes to lighting your trees and shrubs! You want to wrap those light around your foliage over and over again. Light ‘em up!
A tree partially wrapped with lights doesn’t look merry or festive. If you are on a budget, plan accordingly. Find lights that are on sale. During the holidays, you can find lights on sale everywhere!
Will the heat from the bulbs damaging my shrubs or trees?
There is the question from first-timers: “will the lights damage my shrubs and trees?” Some folks believe that the heat from the bulbs will trick the tree in thinking that it is summertime and begin flowing sap.
The truth is that some of the bigger bulbs do create a little heat. But it will take a whole lot of these lights to heat your tree bark. Not to mention, most of today’s lights use LED-type lights which create a small amount of heat.
Man, the joy of a real Christmas tree! The scent of fresh pine from a freshly cut tree, merrily decked out. Not to mention the beautiful lights and how good it looks in the front window of your home. Of course, after finding the perfect tree, you want to do what is necessary in keeping your Christmas tree healthy over the holidays.
There are some easy steps to aid you in keeping it looking healthy and vibrant! The following are some tips for sustaining a fresh-cut and vigorous Christmas tree.
Get a fresh tree. The most crucial factor is to pick a fresh-cut, well-maintained, and healthy tree. Many of the pre-cut trees available in Buffalo were cut in November or late October and are brought to a store after Thanksgiving. Try to get your tree from a lot that will offer trees that are cut right on the spot.
Provide water. When you get your fresh tree home, instantly put the cut end in water. Make sure the tree never is without water. Put the tree in a durable stand that keeps no less than one gallon of water. Check the water level at least twice a day.
Be cool. Make sure to keep your Christmas tree out of the sun, as well as away from any heat sources. Make sure the tree is in a shady area.
Tree to go. Take your Christmas tree down before it dries out and becomes a fire hazard. Most arborists don’t recommend leaving a fresh-cut tree up over 21 days even if your tree is fresh and has been well-kept. There are several ways to get rid of your tree after Christmas love is gone. There are places to take your tree for compost and mulch. If you want to schedule a tree pickup, reach out to a Buffalo tree care company. They will make it to a tree recycling place for you. Just don’t throw it out in the alley!
Tree of treats for wildlife. There are several unique ways to get a couple of more weeks with your Christmas tree. Put it outside and put a string of popcorn and bird seed ornaments on it. Let your feathered buddy have a place to snack and chill.
We’ll take a look at some of the top trees and shrubs for a privacy fence.
Privacy Fence Ideas
Consider what you want from your privacy trees. Evergreens are perfect for diminishing noise and offering screening throughout the year.
Trees provide fall colors or spring flowers, but when the leaves fall, you lose your privacy. That may be okay if you’re okay with two or three-season privacy.
How tall do you want the screen to be? You’ll have to match that height to the expanding height of the foliage you pick.
If you’d like that privacy sooner rather than later, you’ll want trees and shrubs that grow fast. For some suggestions, ask a Buffalo arborist.
Hedges for Privacy
Hedges are the traditional privacy screen. Sheared hedges are perhaps the most common. They can be chopped to any height and deliver a clean, beautiful look.
Arborvitae is another well-liked choice. Green Giant Arborvitae is a fast-growing, widespread hedge that can rise to over 50 feet tall. It can expand as much as four feet in 12 months. Emerald Arborvitae sprouts up to 15 feet tall but can be cut shorter.
Potted plants are great for pool and deck areas. Your pool and patio are great places to relax, catch some sun, or entertain.
But can you get privacy without barring the sun? You might want to shield a small, specific area with a row of top-height, potted plants. Get plants that grow fast vertically and don’t shrink under the sun.
If you want privacy while sustaining the visual appeal of your outdoor space, consider flowering shrubs. While they provide an attractive look, there can be disadvantages. Feather reed grasses grow over seven feet but will die during the winter. Other flowering shrubs will go months with no growth, giving your landscape a bare look.
Evergreen and flowering combination
Planting a row of evergreens and displaying a couple of rows of flowering shrubs could give the ideal balance of functionality and beauty. You can also have a row of evergreens or grasses for more privacy instead of installing a privacy fence.
Talk to a tree specialist to decide the best options for your property. They can take your privacy needs from concept to inception.
If your tree is infested with ants, then you need to take the required steps to eliminate that issue. Ants travel up and down a tree trunk and vanish into the cavity, where they settle. Because of those nesting chances and the virtual comfort ants have when living inside a tree, if the problem isn’t managed ASAP, the number of ants in the tree will probably continue to rise.
The huge, black ants that mostly are inside of the tree are called carpenter ants. These ants seemingly always draw attention. It doesn’t matter if they’re creeping on the floor in your basement, covering your garden, going into the ground, or going out and in of a tree trunk.
Ants on tree…need to get rid of them!
Ants love stumps and logs, but they also like to settle in trees, particularly mature ones that have plenty of wood that is rotten or dead, wood that should be trimmed off. When nesting, ants use trees with wood that is already decayed because of the extreme amount of moisture in these trees. The brittle and softness of the wood give the ants the capability to set up and form colonies.
The rot might have been caused by numerous factors: the environment, stress, diseases, or other insects destroying branches and limbs. It doesn’t matter what brought on the earlier damage. It creates decay. Once that occurs, the ants can move in and take over.
It is imperative to remember that ants aren’t the ones who are damaging the tree initially. They are just taking advantage of the conditions that are present.
The ants might make the damage worse and stop the tree from increasing its strength, but they are not the reason for the issue itself when it first occurs. When the ants pounce, they nest by chewing holes through the wood. The ants can’t eat the wood. Instead, the wood is tossed aside and thrown out from the nests as sawdust.
The importance of getting rid of ants
While they aren’t the ones doing the damage, ants play a significant role in halting a tree from being at total strength. It is crucial to make sure that ants are kept out of other structures close, like your home or garden, where they can be disruptive and a nuisance.
If you want to get professional help, call a business that specializes in tree care services.
Buffalo Tree Service wants to help you in every aspect of tree care available. We are here to give you tips, tricks, and helpful hints to make sure that you give all the love you can to your trees!
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Google