As seasons change, new problems tend to emerge not just for you, but for your plants as well. Trees are especially prone to problems during the cold winter months. While you cannot stop the weather from harming your trees, there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of damage they receive. 

Rapid changes between temperatures

Cold stresses can occur when there are rapid changes between hot daytime and freezing evening temperatures. These variations can lead to the formation of stress fractures forming on the outer bark of the tree as well as the inner wood. More mature trees will be able to heal themselves, but other than that, there is not very much that can be done to protect them. Younger and tropical trees can be protected somewhat from the cold with tree blankets. Cold stresses can also occur from sudden, early frosts forming on late growth, which tends to be more vulnerable to changing climates. But, this can be avoided by waiting to have tree services prune your trees until they are dormant, and also avoiding fertilizer with quick-release nitrogen.

Winter drought

Another problem is winter drought, where trees lose more water than it can absorb when the ground is frozen and is especially common during the early spring. Like with cold stresses, there is no way to prevent it entirely. You can, however, lay down a thick layer of mulch to protect the ground from freezing.

Branch breakage

Branch breakage is another problem that can occur during the winter, particularly with deciduous trees, with wood becoming more brittle and susceptible to damage. The easiest way to avoid branch breakage is to call tree services to have your tree properly pruned, and to consider covering them with a tent to protect them from harsh winds.


Rodents tend to pose another problem, as they forage for food that is scarce during the winter months. Mice, rabbits, and squirrels can all pose problems by chewing on bark and girdling trees. To keep mice at bay, keep some space between the tree trunk and layer of mulch, so they will not be able to hide. You may need to set up bait if you find there are still mice hurting your trees. For rabbits, you can create a wire mesh enclosure that will prevent them from nearing your trees. You can also talk to your tree services company about using paint on rodent repellents, that can help to deter a variety of rodents from harming your trees.

These are the more common problems that can affect trees during the winter and how to deal with them. While it may still be hot right now, but fall and winter are not that far away. The more you know about what to expect and how to protect your trees, then the better they will do during the coming months. As always, you should consult with your tree services company about what is the best products and methods to use for the types of trees that you have on your property.