Don’t forget the trees and bushes in winter. While they sleep for the
winter, there are many things for you to do. Consider these suggestions:
Begin looking for animal damage when the
usual food sources for deer, rodents, and rabbits become scarce. Check
to see if the tender tree bark has been eaten by some critter for
breakfast. Pull the mulch back from stems about an inch to lessen rodent
damage. Use chicken wire and fencing to protect plants and prevent
Protect young, thin
barked trees such as oak, maple, and linden from sunscald by wrapping
their trunks with commercial tree wrap. Remove it in the Spring.
Check perennials for heaving. Abrupt
temperature changes can cause shallow rooted plants to push out of the
ground, exposing their roots. Cover these areas with three to four
inches of mulch such as wood chips, dried leaves, or evergreen boughs.
Avoid using de-icing salts around plants
close to sidewalks, driveways or parking areas. Carefully remove any
salt which has collected near woody plants.
Brush heavy accumulations of snow off
branches to prevent breakage or distortion of plants. Check for heavy
snow accumulations where snow slides off of roofs or where drifts form.
Uncover plants weighted down with snow. Gently brush snow off branches.
Do not try to remove ice. Let ice melt naturally.
Prune dead, diseased, crossing or rubbing
branches in winter. When the leaves are off, it is easy to see the
structure of a tree and make adjustments.
Protect multi-stem evergreens such as
arborvitae, juniper and yews from winter storm damage by tying their
trunks together with nylons or cotton twine. Remove it in spring. If the
temperature is above freezing, you can re-apply an antitranspirant plant
protector, such as “Wilt Proof,” to evergreens, azaleas, hollies,
boxwood, rhododendrons, laurel, and other ornamentals to prevent winter
burn and water loss.
and repair garden equipment. Get a jump on spring. Prepare for Spring
planting. Evaluate last year’s garden and decide about changes. Browse
the seed and plant catalogues. Draw garden plans on paper. Include a
wish list of plants to add. Do not remove mulch, screening and other
winter protections until you see sure signs of spring growth.
Continue to feed the birds. Many plants
offer winter berries, seeds, and pods for birds and wild life. Consider
adding some of these to your yard.
Don't forget to visit The Tree Body Reference File at the Palos Park