How to nurture your young trees to withstand the winter season

Although trees are reasonably self-supporting, a newly planted tree needs a bit of care and support to help it develop a strong root system. The cold winter months can be particularly hard on newly planted or young trees that still haven't established robust root systems. As such, they need further care during the cold months to avoid the possibility of becoming stressed because of lack of water, nutrient inadequacies or freezing. With an impending winter season, the following are simple ways you can prepare your young or newly planted trees to face the freezing cold and emerge unscathed.


Young or newly planted trees need plenty of water in order to survive. Generally, well-established trees spread their roots in order to trace sources of water underneath. However, because the young tree still don't have a strong root system, they are unable to spread far in search of water. In this case, the best solution is to keep the surrounding soil as moist as possible. Moist soil will help your young trees endure the winter season. You can set up an irrigation system to achieve this. Additionally, proper mulching may also help fortify your tree's root system. But how? Well, mulch offers insulation to your roots and also helps to keep moisture in the ground.


Young trees are often characterized by a softer bark which may allow pests and bacteria to attack the bark and penetrate all the way through to the trunk. Consequently, you may end up with cracked or split trunks. Deep splits or cracks may cause death more so for young trees. To avert potential trunk cracks and splits during winter, you can choose to barricade the trunk using a wire caging right until the tree becomes older and stronger.


Young trees are more vulnerable to limb damage. Broken branches and winter burns are some of the common forms of winter damage. The inability of the tree to get sufficient water is a major cause of winter burn. A good solution against winter burn is to wrap your young trees in winter. When snow heaps on tree branches, the effect is broken limbs. Therefore, you should carefully remove any piles of snow to prevent the limbs from being overloaded and eventually breaking. Any branch that appears broken or lose, should be pruned as soon as possible.

For detailed tips on how to care for your young trees during winter, consult your local arborist.