You’ve carefully planted new trees in your yard. Lovingly watered them through the drought. Even talked them through stormy weather. And now Winter is bearing down upon us. Are you finished for the season? Not quite! There are 3 things to protect young trees from during winter.
The 1st is Sun Scald on the tree trunk. Sun Scald is the freezing of bark following high temperatures in the winter. This results in permanent visible damage to bark. Often it will appear on the south-west side of the tree, and can be the result of reflected light off of snow. Use tree wrap or plastic drainage pipe wrapped around the lower 2-3′ of the trunk for protection. Remove it in late March.
The 2nd thing to protect from is a cute little woodpecker called a Sap Sucker. They prefer trunks of trees a bit larger than saplings. You will see neat rows of 1/4″ holes in perfect rings all the way around the tree. It’s the Sap Sucker drilling holes and lapping up the sap. This migratory bird will be in East TN until late March. Sap Suckers prefer Birch, Maple, Poplar, Sweet Gum and Apple Trees. Again, wrap the trunks with tree wrap or plastic drain pipe. Hardware cloth can be wrapped and shaped on larger trunks and limbs. If you saw this last year, you can be sure they will be back this winter.
Deer & Rodent Damage
The 3rd thing to protect young trees against is Deer and small rodents. Deer nibble or rut on trees in winter. Removal of a lot of bark will kill the tree. Rabbits, Mice & Voles cause damage on the lower part of the trunk. Mow or remove tall grass to reduce the chance of attracting them to your trees. Again protective physical barriers like tree tubes, hardware cloth or fencing should deter all these critters.
So if you took our advice here @ Willow Ridge Garden Center, and planted your trees this fall, GO YOU!! Now water them in well, continue until the winter rains are here. Wrap up those young saplings to protect them from the horrors of gnawing & drilling winter critters.
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