With the few days of freezing weather we have coming in the forecast, I wanted to share some easy, straightforward steps to help protect our trees. While this upcoming event might not be as severe as last years or 2021, it is still important to try and help our already distressed tree population.

Moist soil retains more heat than dry soil, thus providing warmth to the roots. Ensure that you water deeply right before the freeze, focusing on the root zone beneath the dripline.

Apply a 3-4 inch layer of hardwood mulch around the base of the tree, extending out to the drip line. Mulch acts as an insulator, keeping the soil and roots warm. It also helps retain soil moisture. Be careful not to pile the mulch directly against the tree trunk, as this can cause rot.

For young, fruit, or thin-barked trees (Red Oaks, Loquat, wrap the trunk with a commercial tree wrap or burlap. This helps to prevent frost cracking, which occurs when the tree bark expands and contracts rapidly due to temperature fluctuations.

Use frost cloth, burlap, or even old blankets to cover smaller trees and shrubs. The cover should reach the ground to trap heat more effectively. Remove the cover during the warmer parts of the day to allow air and light to reach the plant, and put it back at night when temperatures drop.

Stay warm and safe everyone!