Luke Kalawsky has a passion for all things trees, plants, and landscape design. He has designed numerous landscapes as the head designer in the Surprise, Arizona region until he became a manager of our Central Phoenix Nursery. He now dedicates his knowledge, expertise, and creative capabilities to help the masses discover how to design, plant, and maintain their landscapes with his writings.
Winter Landscape Tips: 3 Steps to Protect Your Trees from Frost Damage
Winter is a season of celebration and joy. From the memories made during the holidays to the cooler weather, there are many aspects of this time of the year that are worth taking a deep breath to step back and enjoy each moment.
This is also a pivotal season for your landscape. Some of your trees and plants may have shed their leaves and become dormant to make way for new growth in the spring.
We have put together the 3 best ways to prevent your trees from getting damaged by the cold temperatures and to help them survive during the freeze. Follow these steps and your trees can be set up to not only survive the winter but thrive in it!
- Step 1: Proper Watering and Nutrients
- Step 2: Frost Cloth and Coverings
- Step 3: Use Lights to Create Microclimates
You can also check out this video to quickly learn about the best ways to care for your trees during the frost!
Step 1: Proper Watering and Nutrients
Remember, healthy trees will always be hardier trees. By ensuring the proper amounts of water are being used to water your trees during the winter, you are providing your landscape with one of the best tools to fend off damage from cold weather.
You want to completely saturate the area around your trees right before a heavy frost to create humidity in the area and prevent frost from pulling moisture out of the foliage.
You can learn about the best watering practices for your specific trees and plants in our watering guides here!
Make sure to strengthen your trees’ roots and provide an extra dose of nutrients with rich tree food such as our Super Charged Moon Juice™. Enriching your trees with these nutrients is like feeding them hearty super greens and vitamins allowing them to stand strong during any adverse conditions.
You can learn more about our Super Charged Moon Juice™ here!
Step 2: Frost Cloth and Coverings
When a freeze warning comes along, you’ll want to make sure you have some frost cloth on hand to cover your trees. This is especially important for young trees, fruit trees, and newly planted trees as they will benefit the most from being protected by a quality frost covering.
How should you cover your trees? You’ll want to wrap the canopy and tree trunks of your trees with a frost cloth made for cold protection. Frost cloth is made to wick away moisture and insulate the foliage of your trees while being lightweight and allowing your trees to get good airflow.
Heavy blankets can absorb moisture and hold it against the foliage causing more harm than good. You do not ever want to use plastic, as it does not allow the tree to breathe.
You can also use a protective coating product such as Wilt Stop®, which is an antiperspirant coating that helps to harbor moisture in your trees and plants and is easy to apply. This in combination with frost cloth will provide your trees and plants with an excellent chance of surviving any adverse winter temperatures.
You can find frost cloth and Wilt Stop® at any of our local Moon Valley Nurseries locations. To find our nursery closest to you, click here!
Step 3: Use Lights to Create Microclimates
A way of protecting trees from freeze that fits particularly well with the season is using lights, such as Christmas tree lights to warm up your landscape. Creating small microclimates around your trees that are warmer can help as the warmer temperatures can prevent frost from settling on your trees.
You’ll want to use older incandescent Christmas lights or other styles of lights that emit heat. LED lights will not be effective for this method of protection as they are designed to emit very low levels of heat.
Using lights is great in combination with other forms of frost prevention, but is not as effective on its own, as the amount of heat created by these lights is minimal.
Don't Just Survive the Winter, Thrive In It!
In order to truly get the trees in your landscape ready to thrive through the winter, use all these preventative measures together, so that you can rest easy through the holiday season knowing your yard is ready to burst with growth in the spring!
For any other questions you may have about protecting your trees this winter, feel free to comment below, or call or stop by one of our local nurseries and speak with our nursery pros! We are always happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have with your trees!
Additionally, designing your landscape effectively involves planning out the placement of each of the trees and plants in your yard to ensure they all grow their best. Our professional designers factor in both the heat and cold hardiness of each tree and plant we place in your yard design. They do this to ensure they are best protected by structures or other trees while guaranteeing you have a beautiful landscape for many years to come!
If you are looking at planting a new yard or updating some tired landscaping, you can schedule a free design consultation today with your local professional designer!