Buford, GA, may not see subzero winter temperatures, but we still get down to almost freezing in January and February. Couple that with our moisture and you have a recipe for a mild disaster with trees. It’s important to prepare your trees for the colder months. Gordon Pro Tree Service recommends you do the following to ensure happy and healthy trees all season long.
Clean Up the Leaves First
Enjoy the beauty of colored leaves in the fall first and then rake up the fallen leaves and save them. Use the leaves as part of a mulch mixture crucial to your trees’ survival in cold weather. Tree leaves decompose naturally and provide warmth to your trees’ root systems. This saves you money on mulch at the garden store and also allows you to recycle the tree leaves instead of throwing them away.
Purchase Additional Mulch
Head to the garden store and buy additional mulch to combine with the tree leaves. Between the tree leaves and the purchased mulch, you should have a 2-to-4-inch layer at the base of each tree in your yard. Keep in mind younger trees are more susceptible to harsh weather, so you’ll want approximately 4 inches of mulch at the base of them. Choose either an organic mix or wood chips for your mulch.
Mix the Mulch and Tree Leaves
Mix the tree leaves and mulch to create your protective layer. You can do this in a large trash can, wheelbarrow, or on the ground – or in whatever works best for you. Mix it well so your trees get a healthy combination of all mulch ingredients. It doesn’t matter if the tree leaves are fresh off the ground or have decomposed for a while. If they’re fresh, they’ll decompose in the mulch mixture which is fine.
Measure the Largest Part of Each Tree’s Trunk
Before you mulch, calculate the diameter of each tree. Grab a cloth measuring tape and wrap it around the tree’s trunk. For large trees, wrap the measuring tape approximately 4 1/2 feet up the truck. For baby trees, wrap the tape measure approximately 6 inches above the ground. Write down the trunk circumference in inches and divide that by pi (3.14). This is the tree’s diameter.
Encircle Each Tree with Mulch at the Base
Put your garden gloves on, grab a shovel and encircle each tree base with the mulch mixture. Do not pile the mulch against the trunk; this prevents soil evaporation. Rather, apply the mulch around the base about 2-to-4-inches high and a few feet wide. Think about each tree’s primary root system and how far out it extends. Generally, you only need to spread the mulch out as far as the main root system.
Water Each Tree
With the mulch in place ready to trap moisture, water each tree thoroughly. Take the tree’s diameter you calculated and water it 10 gallons per inch. Using our example above, saturate the ground and mulch as far as the longest tree branches with 148 gallons of water (14.8 X 10 = 148). Water evenly around the base of the tree so the entire root system has plenty of moisture throughout the winter.
If you have additional questions about how to prepare your trees for winter call Gordon Pro Tree Service at 770-282-1616. We service Buford, GA, and surrounding areas.