Basic Winter Tree Protection Methods for Homeowners

The coldest seasons of the year can be hard on many types of outdoor vegetation, and trees are no exception. Newly planted trees and young saplings need extra protection in harsh climates and weather to grow into maturity. 

Winter tree protection doesn’t have to be a hassle, though. With a few simple steps, you can protect your trees from harsh weather, low temperatures, and high winds. In this blog, we cover why winter tree protection is essential, how to protect different parts of trees, and more. 

To find out more about tree service in Safety Harbor by Stevens Tree Service, reach out to our staff by phone or web form today. 

Why Tree Protecting Trees in Winter is Important

Newly planted trees and shrubs are often fragile. This is because these new plants are thin-barked and have yet to develop a mature root system. Thin bark and shallow roots make fresh plants, young trees, and new shrubs more susceptible to winter damage from heavy snow, sun scald, and other problems. 

How to Protect Different Parts of Trees

Like many other plants, trees are more fragile at different parts of their structure than others. For this reason, protection methods may differ depending on the area of the tree that needs protection, the species of the tree, and other factors. For targeted advice about protecting specific species of trees, reach out to a certified arborist at Stevens Tree Service.

Branches and Foliage

Protect evergreens and newly-planted saplings from winter burn and wind damage. Reduce water loss by using anti-desiccant sprays or building wind-breaks using stakes and burlap cloth. 

Heavy snowdrifts or accumulating dead foliage can place excess stress on branches and limbs. Left unattended, this weight can lead to fractures and breaks, inviting disease and infection into the tree. 

Protect evergreens and young trees by gently removing snow and debris. Use a broom and gentle, upward strokes to knock debris loose. 

Tree Trunks

In winter, harsh temperatures freeze standing water and send wildlife seeking refuge. Avoid ice buildup and rodent problems by removing irrigation bags from around new tree trunks. 

Wrap trees and use other protection methods to protect young bark from hungry wildlife. If more than half of the tree trunk’s bark becomes damaged, the tree is at serious risk for disease or death. 

Paint trunks with diluted latex or use crepe paper wrapping to protect young, thin bark from scalding in the bright winter sun. Sun scald tricks trees into coming out of dormancy too soon, causing cell death when temperatures drop below freezing again. 

Tree Roots

Though winter temperatures are colder, the air in winter is generally dryer than that of hotter seasons. Whether evergreen or deciduous, young trees need proper moisture during their first few years of growth, especially in the winter seasons. If the ground freezes in winter where you live, consider using irrigating soil during thawing periods, when water can penetrate to the roots. 

To protect shallow roots from freezing temperatures, heavy snows, and more, place mulch around the base of the tree. Avoid mulching against the trunk, and lay mulch layers two to three inches deep for efficient protection. 

Finally, if your tree has yet to develop a deep root system, consider stabilizing the tree using stakes. Use a method that allows freedom of movement in the tree’s trunk, and use weather-resistant material to secure the tree to the stake. 

Get Advice From Tree Experts

For more advice about winter tree protection methods or to learn more about arborist consulting, reach out to our staff today. At Stevens Tree Service, we’re proud providers of comprehensive tree care and removal services that keep Safety Harbor properties both safe and beautiful. 


Stevens Tree Service is the Tampa Bay Area’s #1 choice for residential and commercial tree care services. Our family owned and operated business, is all about you, our customer and what’s best for your trees.


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1334 Spalding Rd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone : 727-734-TREE (8733)

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