It’s time to prepare your trees for winter.
Forester Rachel Allison says though we’ve enjoyed an unusual spell of clear and warm weather, the lack of a thick layer of snow can make winter a tough season for trees. To help young trees, especially, defend against the cold dry weather, now’s the time to lay down a blanket of mulch according to Allison., especially if you have young trees planted this fall or even in the spring.
The mulch provides a layer of protection, keeping moisture in the soil and providing decaying nutrients. It also moderates the soil temperature which Allison says is important to letting the tree’s roots continue to grow.
Allison says to apply it right, you should build up the mulch in a donut around the tree, rather than a volcano, covering the roots and not the stem. She discourages using grass clippings, rocks, or plastic as these can prevent water from getting to the roots. She says material like pine-needle straw, spruce needles, wood chips or shredded mulch are best.
Allison says in many areas of the state, trees first planted in the 1930s are reaching the end of their lives and are ready to be replaced with new ones.