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Common Tree Care Issues That Come Up During the Winter

This article covers all the major tree care issues that arise during the cold months. If you’re a plant owner, then you should definitely check it out.

As the winter season fast approaches, people gear up quickly to combat the severe cold days. However, the trees, shrubs, or other plants planted outside cannot do anything to protect themselves from freezing winters. If you have plants in your backyard or anywhere nearer your house, then you should take charge to look after the trees. The best way to keep the plants in a healthy condition is to call professional tree service providers. The freezing winds, rains, and storms that are often seen in the colder days can cause much damage to the trees and make them vulnerable to dying.

Damaged tree bark or branches, desiccated foliage, and frozen roots are some of the common problems that trees face during the winter season. If you’re a proud owner of beautiful plants in your property then you should take the necessary steps to save them from harsh winters. To help you prepare a safety and care plan for trees, I have listed all the common tree care issues in one place that usually occur during the winter season. Check out all the common tree care issues shared-below and prepare your tree care plan accordingly.

Damage Due to Fluctuating Winter Temperatures

The damage caused by cold winter temperatures can take various forms. During the winter season, trees or plants have to bear the wrath of fluctuating temperatures. During the day, they get some amount of sunlight, while during the night; they have to face unbearably low temperatures.

When a tree is exposed to such temperature contrasts in the same day, it ends up getting severely damaged. Frost cracks, sunscald, and cracked tree barks are some of the problems that you may notice during the winter season. Severe cold has the power to damage even the strongest and mature plants in your vicinity.

Winter Drought

If you thought that winters bring along chilling winds, ice, and hail storm alone, then you are wrong. Another problem that trees face during the cold winter days is the winter drought. It is the time when trees or plants end up losing more water from their roots; than, they can actually absorb from the frozen soil or land. Such a phenomenon can bring plants on the brink of starvation. Plants that were supposed to grow in the late fall or any evergreen plant is more susceptible to dry out and die because of drying roots and unavailability of enough water. The best way to save trees, in this case, is by watering them regularly so that they get enough water that is crucial for them to sustain.

Damage by Animals

Finding food during the cold months becomes a big challenge for most of the animals. As they are unable to get their food, they start feasting on the tree’s barks, twigs, foliage, and more. As a result, most of the plants get damaged, which is further increased in intensity due to the lower or fluctuating temperatures. Deer, rabbit, mice, and many other rodents much on trees, as it is the only source of food for them during winter.

To keep the plants safe from animals, you can put metal mesh or fence around the trees or plants. It will stop the animals from getting near to any such protected tree. You can also consider using repellent sprays directly on trees or cover them with heavy rags that are dipped in repellents. It is one of the best ways to keep animals away from trees or plants. However, its best to call the professional tree service providers as you might run a risk of spraying the wrong dosage of repellents on the trees and plants.

Frost Heaving

When the soil starts freezing, the trees or plants have higher chances of getting uprooted from the ground. Frost heaving is a term that is used for this event and is most commonly seen during the winter season. As the soil starts freezing, the roots of the trees get directly affected. Though frost heaving is related to lifting pavement/sidewalks, it is also behind weakening the tree’s roots. The only way to save your trees or plants from frost heaving is by using mulch. It serves the purpose of an insulator and helps in retaining moisture. Trusted tree service providers will be able to provide you with this solution in no time.


The trees that have deep cracks in the inner wood or the outside during winter are the ones affected by sunscald. If you are new to the term “sunscald,” then consider it to be similar to sunburn. What sunburn does to human skin; sunscald does to trees. It mostly happens when the sun heats up the bark of the tree, and suddenly its rays get blocked by clouds. This sudden removal of heat or sudden temperature drop severely affects the plant cells or tissues that were earlier activated due to the sun’s light. Trees or plants affected by sunscald are mostly found in the south or southwest location.

Extreme weather conditions are never good for plants. Be it blistering heat or chilling winter- you need to pay special attention to your plants throughout the year. The list of tree care issues shared-above is among the most common and reported ones. You should plan and prepare an effective winter care plan accordingly for your plants. If you don’t want to take any risk, then hiring reputed and the best tree service providers will be your best bet. You can also consult an arborist, as he will the best person to seek suggestion from.