Spring means new blooms and beautiful green leaves are just around the corner. And while the warm weather is certainly a welcome change from the snow and bitter cold that’s so common during the winter months, there’s always a chance that freezing temps will surprise the Denver metro area. When they do, those blooms and leaves may not survive, forcing your trees to start over from scratch. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to better protect that new growth and your local tree company
is here to help. Keep these tips in mind when you start preparing your yard and garden for those final freezes of the year.
Cover What You Can
The best way to protect your trees is to cover them with a protective and insulating material. Unfortunately, this means you’re not going to be able to use plastic tarps or drop sheets. It doesn’t provide enough insulation against the wind, snow, frost, and cold. Instead, you’ll want to use a dedicated frost shield tarp, burlap sheet, or old bed sheet.
These will still let your plants breathe but will also shield them from the worst of the weather. If your trees are small enough, cover them entirely. Secure the cover as best you can. If you have fragile trees or shrubs, you may want to install support stakes around the perimeter and secure the cover to those. This will prevent premature breakage and makes it easier for the leaves to stay intact.
If you’re dealing with large flowering trees like mature fruit trees, wrap what you can if you feel it’s necessary. Usually, this means wrapping the trunk and leaving the limbs to face the elements. Remember, those mature trees can often recover faster as they’ve had to deal with unexpected frosts and freezing temps before.
Repurpose Your Old Holiday Lights
Believe it or not, old holiday lights—think the ones that have larger bulbs and generate heat—are great for protecting blooming plants during extreme cold snaps. Pull out your holiday lights and see what type you have. If most of your strands are LED bulbs, you’ll either need to go to the store or find another way to protect your tree. If they’re all older and use incandescent bulbs, you’ll be in good shape.
Then, wrap the trees like you would during the holidays, taking care not to dislodge or damage leaves and blooms. If you’re comfortable doing this on your own, great. If not, reach out to your trusted landscaping team for help. They’ll be able to install the lights safely.
Once the lights are in place, plug them in and let them do their job. Your yard may look a bit more festive than the season calls for, but your trees will be much warmer for it. Once the freezing weather is over, you can remove the lights and store them until the holiday season rolls around.
Schedule a Tree Trimming Appointment
One of the easiest ways to protect new growth from surprise frosts is to stay on top of tree trimming and pruning. If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your trusted tree service and let them inspect your trees.
They’ll be able to identify potential problems with the branches, limbs, and new growth in a matter of minutes. Once they identify those problems, they’ll be able to trim away the at-risk areas to better protect the rest of the tree.
Keep in mind that trimming won’t prevent new blooms and flowers from fading after a hard freeze. You’ll need to find other ways to protect that new growth in addition to the trimming. It will, however, make your tree healthier and better able to recover faster if the growth suffers frost damage.
Water Before the Freeze
It’s always a good idea to give your trees and shrubs a good, deep watering before the ground freezes completely. Before the weather changes, water your trees thoroughly. This will set them up for better success.
If you’re truly worried about the trees’ ability to withstand the cold weather, you can always water the exterior. Set your sprinkler system on and wait for ice to collect on the new growth. The ice won’t damage your tree. Instead, it will protect it from the severe frost and cold.
Once the ice thaws, the new growth should be able to thrive as normal. Remember, it’s possible that you’ll still lose a few blooms with this method and you will have to accept a higher-than-normal water bill if you choose to do this throughout your yard.
Build a Heat Tent
If you cover your plants with frost shields and secure them with stakes so the cover isn’t resting against the trunk, you can easily create a heat tent to keep the new growth warmer. But rather than using expensive heat lamps, simply fill some containers with hot water or let larger rocks warm in the sun during the day.
Once the temperatures start to drop, place those hot water containers or sun-warmed stones beneath the cover. Take care not to place the bulk of the weight directly on the roots or fragile soil. Once in place, these should help keep the tree warmer and preserve the new growth even when the temps are well below freezing.
Be Prepared to Deal With Damage
No matter what you do for your trees, you’ll never be able to completely prevent damage from unexpected frost and temperature drops. Don’t panic. Just be prepared. Invest in fertilizer to help your trees recover. Make a plan to schedule an appointment with your tree company to inspect your trees and make sure they’re in good enough shape to rebound safely.
Keep These Tips in Mind
As long as you take your time and do what you can to give your trees a helping hand, you’ll be able to protect your trees from those final hard freezes successfully. If you’re not sure what else you can do or want a second opinion on the condition of the trees in your yard, schedule an appointment
with Bear Creek Tree Service.