Keep trees and shrubs healthy through winter

Add extra mulch to protect the roots

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Despite a warm December, you may want to take a few steps to protect your plants this spring.

You’ll want to give extra attention to young trees and shrubs as temperatures finally start to feel more like winter. Greenhouse co-owner Ryan Cummins says that the drastic temperature swing can hurt young saplings.

“Newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials where you have cold temperatures but a lack of snow cover allows the ground to freeze rapidly,” said Cummins. “Then you get sunny days where it thaws rapidly and that can cause heaving out of the ground.”

If we end up with a mild winter, it could make things difficult for growers to produce beautiful ornamental trees.

“The real problem comes if we have a mild winter, certain plants require chilling or cold temperatures for them to start their season this year in the correct fashion,” explained Cummins. “In other words, if you have a mild winter, in fruit trees you may not get as much bloom as well as some ornamentals like lilacs.”

You should add extra mulch to protect the roots from cold snaps. Cummins suggests using pesticides early if winter remains mild to help ward off additional bugs come springtime. He says flowering trees and broadleaf evergreen shrubs are most at risk from winter damage.

Copyright 2016 WTHI

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