As much as we would like it to not be the case, beautiful landscapes are not “set it and forget it.” They require care and attention throughout the year, especially in winter! Like putting a child down for a nap, if it isn’t done right, they will wake up cranky and you’ll be miserable. Your gardens are the same!
#1: Ice & Salt
You must prepare for the harsh elements of winter to ensure a vibrant and healthy landscape in the spring. Ice and salt damage is a real threat to evergreens and plants that are on the edges of their climactic zones. By utilizing anti-desiccants and burlap, we can protect plant material from desiccation, temperature related tissue damage, and salt spray from roadways.
Additionally, deer wreak havoc in the winter months! Most evergreens are prime deer food, and unless you have a deer fence, a winter deer repellent is highly recommended to prevent permanent aesthetic damage. Protecting small trees with cages is also very important, which will prevent browse of lower buds and buck rub on the trunk.
#3: Deep Freeze
There are certain plants that need to be handled in a particular way during the winter months. For example, ornamental grasses should be left high until March, so the root zone stays protected from the temperature. Roses need to be ‘heeled in’ with mulch or soil to protect the plant from freeze-thaw cycles. Certain perennials, of which there are thousands, need to be treated specifically, and knowing what should be cut back and what shouldn’t is the key to a beautiful landscape, year after year.
Properly prepping your landscape for winter can be overwhelming. Luckily, we have the knowledge, experience, and attention to detail that is required to perform an important step in maintaining the landscape of your dreams.
by Kate Odell, Licensed Arborist
Kate Odell, arborist and account manager for Northeast Horticultural Services, has a commitment to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and sustainable tree and shrub care. Through her extensive knowledge of plant biology, proper pruning practices, and plant pathology, Kate offers a comprehensive suite of skills that can develop, improve, and maintain any landscape or outdoor space.