In Florida, with a mild, winter climate you may think that there isn’t much to do for your trees in winter. This is a common misconception that can cause significant damage to your tropical climate-loving trees. Trees in Florida become very delicate after the first frost and require special care to survive our winters.
The winter season in Florida can be cruel to trees. The record low temperatures are enough to damage even the healthiest ones. Even when temperatures are not freezing, the lack of rain and moisture can still wreak havoc on their health. Damage can occur when winter tree care precautions are not taken. The following tree care tips will help your trees survive Florida winter and look great all year long.
Implement a New Watering Schedule
Water is an essential element to a healthy and thriving tree. Without proper watering, even in winter, your tree can suffer greatly. With little rain and dry air, your tree’s roots will begin to crave the water that they need to survive. One crucial factor when it comes to watering is understanding how the new weather will affect your watering schedule.
Often you will need to adapt to the change in climate and create a new watering schedule that will give your trees the right amount of water. Just like in other months, over and under watering can be detrimental to their health. The most significant winter watering precaution to take is to give your trees enough time to soak up the water before the temperatures drop drastically at night; Helping to prevent damage to the roots.
Provide Cold and Frost Protection
Although we do not experience the severe freezing that other parts of the United States experience during the winter months, this doesn’t mean that our temperatures don’t drop significantly. At night we can see the average temperature drops to a low of 49 °F here in central Florida, sometimes getting down to 32 °F allowing frost to form.
Frost protection is a great way to prevent damage to your trees. It helps to keep heat and moisture in and the harsh dry, cold air out. Another option is adding mulch around the base of the tree. This works to insulate the roots and prevent heat from escaping the ground. The root system is an essential part of a healthy tree. Damage to this area could cause an irreversible health decline.
Proper drainage is essential during any season, especially in winter. If you notice poor drainage, it could create more issues during the winter months. Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and bugs, which can wreak havoc on your trees.
Assess Any Damage
Although the best time to prune your trees is in late winter, it’s essential to address any issues that might affect your trees’ health. Dead limbs, overhanging branches, and other problems are just going to create more stress on the tree if left untreated during the winter months. Our professional ISA-certified arborist here at SB Tree Service can help you spot these issues and create the best course of action to get your trees healthy before winter.
Help Your Trees Survive Florida Winter: Conclusion
The best time to evaluate the health of your trees and make necessary pruning decisions is before the cold weather season. However, if you do need to make repairs during the winter months (which is usually not recommended), proper preparation is essential. Due to potential additional stress placed on trees that have been recently pruned or exposed to cold weather, a follow-up inspection after a few days is strongly suggested. Proper post pruning care and protection from cold weather go a long way towards minimizing additional stress on a tree; if you need help creating an effective winter tree care plan, contact us at SB Tree Service today!