As winter rolls in, roll out and then roll in again, many folks might think they have to wait until the next season to plant new trees. However, planting trees in winter is a great idea since trees are dormant. Freshly planted, there isn’t much damage done to the roots as they might get in the growing season.

Putting new trees in your landscape in the winter is smarter than you think. It benefits the tree and is easier for you as well. Think about how much value trees bring to your property. It is a thoughtful and smart Christmas gift for any homeowner on your list. Why not include a coupon for tree care services, too?

Here are some tips on winter tree planting:

• When planting in the wintertime, don’t fertilize. In the spring, apply a couple of root stimulator treatments. Also, apply bone meal or compost to the soil to encourage root growth. Having roots already developed before the summertime is one of the best reasons to plant in the winter.

• Be extra careful with the roots when planting. Avoid pruning.

• Water frequently, and be sure to use mulch so the roots keep in their moisture.

• The hole you dig for your tree must be twice the width of the root ball to have enough room to expand and grow. Remember, proper soil preparation is crucial to good root development.

• Don’t bother the soil too much. You can use some bone meal and compost but apply fertilizer in the spring.

• Keep your tree hydrated! New trees are in jeopardy of drying out in cold weather. Keep them watered every week or every two weeks, including before a heavy freeze.

• The cold will create plenty of stress, so be gentle with the roots. If you must prune, only get rid of the limbs which are damaged or broken.

• Avoid using ice melt with salt in it near your new trees. It affects the roots and keeps them from getting pertinent nutrients, water, and oxygen.

• Mulch offers plenty of insulation for freshly planted trees. You can also wrap your tree with a burlap. Make sure, though, you remove it in the a.m.

Plant in the winter and give your trees a big head start on next year’s summer!

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