Winter Checklist

Homeowners Monthly Winter Checklist

Want to keep your property in the best possible condition? This checklist will give you a timeline to follow to maintain plant health and upkeep during the harsh winter months.

  • October
  • Plant new trees, shrubs, and ground covers.
  • Aerate, lime, and fertilize the lawn.
  • Prune evergreens.
  • Determine what trees should be pruned this winter.
  • November
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
  • Fertilize decidious and evergreen trees and shrubs to promote winter root growth.
  • Remove lawn leaves and compost them. Leaves in ground cover and shrub beds should be left until spring, except for leaves from disease-prone trees and shrubs.
  • December
  • Begin winter tree pruning.
  • Spray evergreen trees and shrubs with anti-transpirants.
  • Prune evergreens carefully for holiday decorations.
  • January & February
  • Prune fall-blooming shrubs for shape and rejuvenation.
  • Prune hedges to keep them the desired height and width.
  • Finish winter tree pruning.

Are Your Plants Protected against Winter Burn

As air temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing, winds can cause plant dehydration. In particular, Broad-leaf evergreens, such as Hollys, Boxwoods, Rhododendrons, Laurels, Aucubas, should receive one to two anti-dessication treatments starting in early winter, or late fall if the weather turns more quickly than normal.

Cold temperatures and severe wind conditions are what makes winter the harshest time of the year. These adverse weather conditions can severely injure, or kill evergreen trees and shrubs due to winter burn.

Broadleaf evergreens, such as Aucubas, Azaleas, Boxwoods, Hollies, Laurels, Magnolias and Rhododendrons, are especially susceptible. Conifers, such as Spruce, Fir and Pine trees, also can suffer damage to their needles.

Broad Leaf Evergreen Evergreen

During cold winter storms, moisture is lost through the stomata, or pores, of evergreens, making them very susceptible to dessication. The application of anti-dessicants in the late fall or early winter will protect your evergreen plants. This should be performed expertly as the amount applied needs to be just right so as not to damage the plant.

What happens if broad-leaf evergreens are left unprotected? As winter air temperatures fluctuate above and As air temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing, winds can cause plant dehydration. The leaves will turn brown. Stems and branches may die because the roots are unable to replenish the loss of water. In worst cases the plant does not recover.

If you have any of these evergreens on your property, or questions about other types of evergreens that may need protection, call us soon to arrange a consultation before winter.

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