The winter is probably one of the worst seasons for trees. The unique challenges they face at this time means that the plants require a little extra care during the cold season. Here are some of the common threats to your trees' health in the winter:
Cracks Due to Temperature Fluctuations
Extreme temperature fluctuations are not good for tree barks. The bark expands when temperatures rise at night and contracts when temperatures fall during the day. If the variations are too much, then the space between the bark and inner wood expands and contracts to a point where the bark may crack. The cracking reduces the transfer of nutrients from the soil to the leaves where plant food manufacturing takes place. They may also act as points of entry for disease-causing microorganisms.
Drought Due to Frozen Soils
It's difficult for trees to absorb water when the ground is frozen. Many trees are adapted to such conditions, which is one of the reasons they go dormant in the winter. Unfortunately, evergreen trees aren't well adapted as compared to other trees. When such plants use more water than they can absorb from the ground, they suffer just as they would when starved of water.
Tree roots aren't as resistant to low temperatures as the above-ground parts of trees. In a typical tree, the roots may freeze long before the stems and branches are affected by the cold. This is even more likely if the snow cover isn't enough to provide the necessary insulation to keep the soil unfrozen. Frozen roots do not absorb and transfer water and nutrients well. This may weaken your trees and even cause a few to dry up.
Physical Damage Due to Snow and Ice
A strong snow or ice fall can damage your trees' branches, leaves, and bark. The accumulation of heavy snow on a tree can also bend, or even break, its branches. The damage tends to be greater on multi-stemmed trees as compared to single-stemmed ones. This weakens the trees and makes them susceptible to other forms of damage, such as diseases.
It's clear that the cold temperatures associated with the winter season can wreak havoc to your trees. Fortunately, most of these are things you can prevent by engaging the services of tree care professionals, like Tree Smart Inc. They will know what to do, for example by mulching to prevent root freeze, so that your trees face the least threat during the winter season.