Tree Winterizing | Water the Roots
13 Jul
Tree Winterizing

Prepare Your Trees for the Cold Weather

While it is still summer time in Atlanta, it may be difficult to think of preparing your trees for the winter. But to have healthy landscaping, you have to be proactive all year long. Follow these two basic steps to help your trees survive and thrive through and past the winter time.

Water Your Trees:

Make it a point to water your trees adequately in the autumn time. This will help insure that they stay healthy and are prepared to withstand the cold winter seasons.  Watering your trees is one of the most practical techniques of protection during colder months. If the forecast predicts freezing temperatures, you should water your trees thoroughly a couple of days before.  With water working as an insulator in both the tree itself and soil around it, moist soils will retain the warmth for longer period of time than dry soils. This principle can also be applied to tree’s cells as well.  If your tree’s cells are full of water before freezing temperatures occur, the tree is better protected against cold weather by creating an almost-elastic framework!

Young trees are particularly vulnerable to trauma from the cold winter month. Their roots are not well-established and they won’t be able to protect the tree very well.  Additionally, dirt that is still loose from when the tree was planted can allow the cold to penetrate deeper into the soil surrounding the roots. Be mindful of these newly planted trees and provide them with extra protection during their first couple of seasons

The most ideal time to water your trees early is the earlier page to the day.  This gives them time for their roots to absorb moisture before the colder evening temperatures arrive.  You do want to avoid watering your trees when the when temperature will be below 40°F, or when there may be snow or heavy n the ground!

Protect Your Trees

An initial step to providing protection for your trees is to make sure that, during the growing season, you try and keep them healthy. Trees that have been given sufficient moisture (see Water Your Trees above) and nutrients and during the warmer growing time will be better prepared to endure colder winter month.

Mulching around your trees will help protect their root system from freezing weather. The layer of mulch should be no deeper than 4 inches on top of your tree’s roots to protect them being suffocated.  This may require removing some of the old mulch.  Once completed, you should add 2-3 inches of loose mulch to serve as an insulator.  Contact NorthsideTree Professionals for a load of hardwood chips to seer as your mulch.

If you need to add more protection for you newly planted trees, you should not use cotton sheets or plastic.  The cotton sheets could actually freeze to the base of your trees if there has been raid or snow before freezing temperatures.  And a plastic ground cover will smother your trees if it is left on the ground too long  It is better to invest in insulated frost blankets for your trees . The insulated blanket will keep the tree roots warmer while allowing the trees to breathe.


Northside Tree Professionals’ arborists are fully trained and certified members of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). They can determine the type of tree service necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance and safety of trees.

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