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Getting Ready For Frost And Wind

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

Sometimes it’s fun to flip on the weather channel and check out the snowstorms hitting much of the rest of the country. Thank goodness we live in sunny Southern California! But that doesn’t mean we can completely ignore winter. We get an occasional frost and more than occasional windstorms that we really do need to prepare for.

Young trees in particular are vulnerable to frost. To prevent damage, place a frost cloth over small trees if you see a frosty night in the forecast. Place the cloth over the top of the tree and try to cover at least the top half of the tree. When the nights are back up into the 40s, simply remove the cloth for storage.

Many homeowners also have Bougainvillea in their yards, which add a nice touch of color almost year-round. If it drops below freezing, your bougainvillea can suffer significant frost damage. If temperatures in the 20s are forecast during the next couple of months, take the following steps to keep your plants healthy.

Protect the bush’s root ball by covering it with an organic mulch, or you can even use material such as straw. One note: be sure to remove the mulch when the frost danger has passed or certainly before the growing season begins. Like you do with young trees, protect the bush itself by draping a blanket over the bush it, using burlap or plastic to protect the leaves.

Here Come The Winter Santa Anas

If you have a large tree with heavy branches, it may be especially vulnerable to high winds. The Santa Ana winds will always be with us, but you can take some steps to minimize the potential damage.

If you’re in the planning stage, consider planting trees near buildings, high walls or other trees that will act as a windbreak. If there are no windbreaks already in place, consider making a screen of burlap until the tree is more mature and sturdy. You can attach the burlap to poles that you plant near the tree, and then simply remove the screen when it’s not needed.

Even more important, be sure that your trees are pruned properly throughout the year. If you see a branch that is drooping under its own weight, it should be cut back to a length that the tree can handle. In addition, inspect your trees to see if they have branches with less than a 45-degree crotch angle, or branches that cross over other branches. Both these types of branches are more likely to break in high winds. Finally, if you see dead or dying branches, they should definitely be removed for the same reason. If you’re in doubt about your tree’s health or the need for trimming, give us a call. We’ll be happy to give you some professional recommendations.

Conejo — “Rabbit” — Valley

One more thing. If you have some young fruit trees, they’re especially vulnerable to damage from animals. In our area, Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas — “rabbit valley “ — you know what that means! Rabbits often gnaw on tender young bark and that can significantly damage their health. Protect newly planted trees with a guard made of wire or plastic. You can pick up tree guards at most nurseries or one of the big box hardware stores.