It may come as a surprise, but late fall or winter is actually a great time to add tree care to your to-do list. Even though so many homeowners make spring and summer all about gardening and lawn care, trees and shrubs need special attention when leaves start changing color and the weather starts getting colder. And with intense Chicago winters and wind storms, it’s also a great time to remove any trees or branches that could pose a threat to your home or vehicles if there are dead trees or branches that may fall during a storm.

At Pro Tree Service, we have been providing the Chicago area with expert tree trimming and removal services since 1989 and we know what it takes to ensure that your trees are healthy and will look even better when spring does roll around. Winter tree services take a trained eye and the right equipment to get everything done right, so give our team a call day if you have any trees that need some maintenance. If you have smaller trees that you can safely handle on your own, here are a few winter tips.

Why is Tree Trimming Important During Winter?

There are several reasons why winter is a good time to give your trees and shrubs some attention.

  • First, it’s a simple reason of being able to see and access the branches easier because the leaves have all fallen. When we have a clear vision of the structure and health of the tree, we can decide which branches need to go or how far back they need to be trimmed. Tree trimming equipment is also easier to use when technicians don’t need to climb through thick branches.
  • The most significant reason why pruning should be done in the winter is because the trees are dormant. If trees are pruned during the spring or summer when they’re growing, it could actually prevent them from growing as much and as healthily as they could. Pruning in the winter will enhance growth in the spring.
  • The last reason why trimming should occur in the winter is because some diseases spread easily during the spring and summer. There is a much lower risk of disease spreading in the winter.

Protect Trees From Freezing

There have already been a few freezing days in the Chicago area, and young or smaller trees and bushes need extra protection from the cold days and nights. To protect young or small plants, cover them with a durable material like burlap or a tarp. Make sure that the edges of the material are extended to the ground so that any additional heat is trapped inside and keep the material loose to prevent damaging any branches. If you have any potted plants, these should come inside for the winter.

Mulch

Mulch can be used for younger trees that no longer need to be covered, but still need some additional protection from the weather. Store bought mulch is great, but any organic material like wood chips and tree leaves will work as well. Create a circle around the base of the tree that is three to five inches thick and about two feet from the base in every direction. Pro tip: don’t place the mulch too close to the base of the tree, but leave a small gap. The purpose of adding mulch is to retain moisture and warmth, but when moisture can’t escape, it can lead to decay.

Water

Even though winters in Chicago are definitely wet from snow, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how much rain water trees are getting, especially younger trees. If there is an extended period of time when it doesn’t rain or snow, give young trees a good drink of about 10 to 15 gallons of water. For mature trees, the amount of water it needs will depend on how wide the trunk of the tree is. If you have any questions about watering trees during the winter, don’t hesitate to contact Pro Tree Service.

If the trees or shrubs around your yard haven’t been trimmed in a while, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look to see what needs to be done. In our next blog, we’ll go over some more tree trimming tips to make sure your landscape is healthy and beautiful in the spring. If you’d rather a professional take over, contact us today for a free estimate.