With winter coming, everyone is busy getting their houses in order for the changing season.  Don't forget to also take the necessary steps to make sure your yard trees survive.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends taking the following steps to help yard trees survive the winter:

  • Wrap the trunk of young, thin-barked trees such as maple and honeylocust with commercial tree wrap or plastic tree guards to prevent frost cracks. Trunks can heat up in the sun and quickly freeze when temperatures drop, causing the bark to crack. Remove wrap or guard in the spring.
  • Remove tall grass around the tree’s trunk to discourage rodents from feeding on bark.
  • Rake and remove fallen leaves and needles to reduce fungal diseases that can infect new growth the following year.
  • Protect the roots of newly planted trees from freezing by spreading a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the tree’s trunk, keeping the mulch off the trunk.
  • Wrap burlap around small coniferous trees to protect the needles from drying out when exposed to the sun, wind and road salt spray.
  • Prune trees to remove multiple stems and weak branches that can fail during a heavy snow or ice storm. Contact a certified arborist for help or to answer questions.

Trees that are suited for local growing conditions have a better chance of surviving the winter. Consider this in the spring when selecting trees to plant.  Get even more information on tree planting and care below.

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