Winter Tree Care Tips

Winter Tree Care Tips

Protecting trees from the winter ahead

International Society of Arboriculture shares tree care recommendations for consumers

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) recommends several steps for people to protect their trees from weather stress and injury.

“The polar vortex that enveloped much of the country last season caused significant damage to the tree population in a number of cities, from breakage during heavy snow and ice storms to winter burn from cold winds,” says Jim Skiera, ISA Executive Director. “Fortunately, we can do something now to prepare our trees and shrubs for what winter may bring.”

ISA recommends the following:
MULCH – Add a thin, protective layer of organic mulch around your tree in the fall. This will help retain water and reduce stress from temperature extremes.
WATER – Give your trees a drink. Winter droughts require watering as much as summer droughts. Occasional watering during the winter on young trees is recommended, but be sure to water only when soil and trees are cool – not frozen.
PRUNE – Winter is one of the best times to prune trees. It is easier to see the structure of trees without their leaves. But limit pruning to dead wood and poorly placed branches in order to save as many living branches as possible.
PREVENT INJURY – Heavy ice and snow accumulation can split or break branches, and animals also cause injury by chewing or rubbing trees. Protect young trees by wrapping the base in a plastic guard or a metal hardware cloth.

Trees and shrubs have the ability to survive a severe winter, but they require proper tree care — even species designated for cold hardiness zones. Call us at 615-710-5545 or fill out our online form to request a tree inspection or for more information on tree care tips.

About ISA
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research and education around the world. To promote the importance of arboriculture, ISA manages the consumer education web site,, which fulfills the association’s mission to help educate the public about the importance and value of proper tree care. Also, as part of ISA’s dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. For more information on ISA and Certified Arborists, visit