The proverbial “Winter is coming” motto is overrated since the cold season seems to have settled in full force. Wind and snow, although natural for the cold season, manifest themselves in nerve shattering blizzards and ice storms that are a danger to even human life, not to mention peoples’ houses and landscapes. Those who own gardens, orchards or even turf and lawns know that the damage winter can do to their trees, shrubs and perennials cannot be always avoided.
However, landscape specialists and maintenance experts working for professional companies such as Green ServPro from Phoenix, Arizona, or others, often warn lawn and garden owners about the major dangers landscapes are exposed to in winter and offer professional services in order to prevent irremediable damages to occur. Let’s see ten of the most threatening ones.
Winter is not a dead-cold season that behaves constantly. There are also warm periods cycling throughout a season, but these are the most dangerous, as due to the freezing – warming up sessions, tree bark gets the most affected, as it cracks and splits. This phenomenon is mostly frequent in late winter and even if you are happy that spring will finally bless nature, frost cracks are a thing you should be warned about.
Needless to say, powerful ice storms and heavy snow deposited on tree branches make the trees crack and twigs and branches fall all over the place. This phenomenon is damaging for both the suffering trees and for whatever plants lie at their feet.
One of the most dangerous winter hazards threaten agriculture the most, as not once it happens that nature suddenly blossoms under generous sun rays, only to freeze and die when a heavy frost or a blizzard strikes with no mercy. Even decorative flower trees suffer, with their freshly blossomed buds being killed.
Have you ever suffered from a winter burn? Imagine what that terrible level of winter desiccation can do to trees and perennial leaves. Scorching and burning are damages few know how to get protection against.
Leave scorching may also take place when de-icing products full of salt reach them to the point of damage. Of course de-icing the roads is a good thing, but if you have trees that are very close to the street, the machinery used to spray defrost materials can end up on them, killing whatever leaves and buds there are left.
Talking about scorching colds, winter doesn’t always come with heavy precipitation, which in normal circumstances is good for the soil and plant roots, but only with such low temperatures, they force trees to consume the water in their leaves to nurture the whole plant. Leaves blight, as this is how this phenomenon is called takes place when the trees and the plants don’t have enough water in the soil to live on.
The lack of water is also a part of another major problem. Either there is no water in the soil to support life, or the soil is so frozen, the root system of fueling the plant is out of order. No matter the case, water re-uptake and circulating systems are broken, thus producing damages to the whole plants, shrubs and trees.
A frozen soil can also lead to major problems, as this is a vicious and almost never-ending cycle of horror. The soil is exposed to contraction and constriction due to the freezing – warming cycles we talked about, this being able to literally break fragile plant roots and thus kill them.
If you think that leafless trees are more protected during winter as there isn’t anything to scorch or burn, you are wrong. Trees are facing a major threat called sunscald. This is something that can take place in a desert too. If your trees happen to be spoiled by some winter warmth and sun rays, they will all get warmed up and be happy about it, especially the ones planted in sun exposed areas. Come night and low temperatures and the tree bark will suffer extensive damage, just like rocks do in the desert.
Pests are a problem no matter the season. If summer comes with its own specific killers, winter favors rodents such as voles and rabbits that know how to dwell underground so you don’t even know they’re there, but which also feed on your plants to your spring heartbreak.
Now you are warned and even if there are not many things to do, you can still employ the help of professional landscapers to help you prevent at least half of these killer situations.