Trees Feel The Cold Too!

As the seasons change and the weather fluctuates between warm and cold temperature, heavy rain, snow, wind, and beautiful sunshine, so do the trees in your front yard adapt to the ever-changing climate. The temperature, in particular, plays a major role in how a tree survives the long harsh winters, only to sprout back into fruition in the spring.


We all know that trees lose their leaves in the fall and winter. What most people don’t know is that when the temperature gets down to near or below freezing, special mechanisms in their bark and trunks are activated to shield the tree from the cold air through a process known as ‘hardening.’ Every tree reacts to the cold differently, based both on their specific genetic makeup and the climate zone where they flourish.

Winter Care

When winter begins to come on, it is important that you take some time to give the trees on your property a little extra protection from the cold. In order to get the most protection, follow these four simple steps:

1.      Cover newly planted trees and more sensitive, or potted plants, in burlap for the duration of the winter months. Potted plants, in particular, are more susceptible to the cold because their roots are not buried in a deep layer of soil, making them more exposed to the chilled temperatures.

2.      Cover the root area of your in-ground trees with 2-3 inches of mulch. You will want to do this before the snow begins to fall.

3.      Avoid excessive pruning during the winter. Pruning is an appropriate maintenance technique, but doing it in the winter can leave the tree unnecessarily exposed to the cold conditions.

4.      Do not lay down fertilizer in the fall. Fertilizer helps plants and trees grow back strong and healthy in the spring, but it can be contradictory to do this when the temperature continues to drop.

For more information on the life and health of your trees, or to schedule a Minneapolis Tree Care Service appointment, please visit our website at