How to Protect Young Trees Against Frost Damage

September 22nd, 2021 | Posted by Coldstreamfarm
How to Protect Young Trees Against Frost Damage

Winter is quickly approaching, and that means that the temperature is going to be inching closer and closer to freezing in a couple months. This could present problems for any young trees that you have planted on your property. While many plants are capable of surviving harsh winters, there are some tree species that are more susceptible to frost damage if you don’t take steps to protect them from the cold. Check out a few ways to protect young trees from frost damage below.

Find out if frost can do damage to your tree species.

Before you start taking precautions to protect your trees, determine whether or not those trees will actually be susceptible to frost damage. There are many trees that will be just fine outside in the cold. If you have any tropical or subtropical species, however, they will need to be protected.

Cover any trees that may sustain frost damage.

One easy way to prevent frost from doing damage to a young tree is by covering it to help the tree retain heat. You can use a tarp, a sheet, burlap or anything else that will extend all the way down to the ground and keep warm air trapped inside. That warm ambient air will prevent frost damage to any sensitive leaves, twigs or buds on the tree.

Continue watering on cold days.

You might not think it makes a whole lot of sense to water trees in the winter, but keeping the soil moist can actually help the plants to absorb more solar radiation and stay warm during cold nights. Water during cold, sunny days until the snow starts to fall and the ground freezes.

Have a few more lingering questions about how to care for young tree plantings? We’d be happy to lend a hand. Give us a call today to speak with a representative at Cold Stream Farm!

One Comment on “How to Protect Young Trees Against Frost Damage”
Shawn said at 1:49 pm on September 25th, 2021:

Please do not tell people that a burlap etc covering retains heat. It does not.
A barrier around landscaping plants helps to prevent winter damage by shielding from desiccating wind, lessening temperature changes which can cause incomplete dormancy, preventing ice melt salts from accumulating on the foliage, decreasing snowload which may cause splitting/branch damage in some conifers.
Any tree/shrubs’s best protection in the winter is complete dormancy and for some, inconsistent temperatures, way up on a mild day then dropping rapidly below freezing, may badly damage or kill some species, so you want them to go dormant and stay that way until temperature extremes stabilize in the spring. A light colored, reflective mulch-like straw, also can help to keep the ground cold and ensure dormancy until soil temperatures rise naturally as winter ends.
And all extra winter protection is entirely subjective depending on species, geography, and specific location in the landscape.

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