Winter Care: Trees and Shrubs

You spend a lot of time during the warm weather months ensuring your yard looks fantastic. Mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, pruning the trees, and weeding your garden all serve to make your neighbors green with envy over your fabulous yard. But, what kind of maintenance does it need during the winter? The elements can be damaging to the greenery you work so hard to protect during the summer. Follow these tips for safely caring for your trees and shrubs in the winter weather.

Prune and Prepare

Keep on top of pruning your trees to prevent limbs from growing too long and breaking under the weight of snow or a heavy ice load. Have a skilled professional come out to remove deadwood from your trees.

Research the plants and trees in your yard to discover what pruning recommendations exist for each. Find out if any potted plants or trees need extra shelter from the cold as well. Now is a good time for a dormant oil application to help control harmful insects that may be lying dormant on your trees and shrubs. A fall fertilization for some of those struggling plants will help give them a boost going into next spring.

Gently Remove Snow from Greenery

Snow can weigh down boughs and cause breakage. Use a broom to gently shake the snow from your trees boughs, and from the tops of your shrubs.

Do Not Attempt to Remove Ice

If your greenery is coated in ice, attempting to remove it can cause breakage and irreparable damage to the fragile limbs and leaves. Wait for Mother Nature to melt the ice in this situation.

Cover It Up

Certain plants that are susceptible to injury from the ice or snow should be covered with burlap when a winter storm is anticipated.

Rope It In

Young or fragile trees or shrubbery may benefit from the temporary support of rope or twine. Weak crotches may require bracing.

Keep It Clean

Keep dead leaves and other debris cleared from underneath disease-susceptible trees to keep them healthy and prevent them from weakening.


A layer of thick mulch around your trees will protect them from extreme cold and temperature fluctuations, as well as conserve moisture around the roots.

Use an Anti-Desiccant

A great deal of damage shrubs and evergreens suffer in the winter is due to desiccation, or drying out. Once the ground has frozen, these plants are unable to extract water with their roots, so they draw it from their leaves instead. Spray these plants with a natural, biodegradable desiccant to help them retain their moisture until the ground thaws.

Remove Dead, Diseased, or Dangerous Trees

Any tree with limbs that overhang your house, cars, or yard need to be evaluated for safety. If they’re in a weakened state due to disease, pests, etc, they need to be removed before the strain of snow and ice further weakens their limbs.

Consult the Professionals

The professionals at MIKO Lawn & Landscape have over a decade of residential and commercial experience in the Lancaster area. Contact us today to see how we can help you care for your trees, shrubs, and lawn during the frigid winter months. We’re here to serve you!

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