Tips For Keeps Your Trees Healthy In Winter

Certified Arborists Serving Ventura & Los Angeles Counties

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

Maintaining healthy trees in Southern California during the winter involves addressing specific challenges such as mild temperatures, occasional frost and low precipitation. With that said, the predictions are for an El Nino-inspired wet winter, so keep that in mind when we cover watering tips below. Adjust your plans if we have deluges in January and February!

Keeping your trees healthy during the winter is really pretty easy if you follow the steps below. Best of all, you’ll be rewarded come springtime with trees that are primed to flourish.

Watering. Even though Southern California experiences milder winters, it’s essential to monitor soil moisture. Lack of rainfall can lead to dry soil, which can stress trees.  Water trees deeply but less frequently. Ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. If we do experience a winter with as much rainfall as last year, make sure your landscaping overall has adequate drainage.

Mulching. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature. Mulch also provides a protective barrier against temperature fluctuations and helps prevent weed growth.

Protect Against Frost. OK, mid-Westerners and Easterners would laugh at our concern about frost, but the truth is parts of the Conejo Valley regularly experience sub-freezing temperatures several times per year. So, if the forecast calls for a cold spell, be sure to cover sensitive plants and young trees with frost cloth or burlap during cold nights. Avoid using plastic for covering, as it can damage plants by creating a greenhouse effect during the day.

Pruning. Winter is a good time for pruning in Southern California when the trees are dormant. Remove dead or damaged branches to promote overall tree health. Avoid heavy pruning during excessively cold periods, as it may stress the tree.

Fertilizing. Hold off on fertilizing during the winter months, as most trees are dormant and won’t benefit from additional nutrients. Resume fertilization in late winter or early spring when the trees begin to show signs of new growth.

Pest Control. Inspect your trees for pests, as some can be active even in winter. Treat any pest issues promptly. Avoid overusing pesticides, as beneficial insects are essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Wind Protection. Anyone who has lived in the Conejo Valley for even a year has experienced  Santa Ana winds. Aside from being really annoying,  they humidity is typically so low during Santa Ana conditions that the winds can cause stress to trees. Provide windbreaks for young or vulnerable trees to reduce wind damage.

Choose Drought-Tolerant Species. Even though we’re out of the drought, history as our guide shows us that draught conditions are simply a part of our climate. So, when planting new trees, choose species that are well-adapted to our local climate and are drought-tolerant. If you’re in doubt about which species are good for our area, a quick Google search will give you all kinds of ideas.

Monitor for Diseases. Keep an eye out for signs of diseases, such as leaf discoloration, cankers or unusual growth patterns. Address any issues promptly.

Have questions about any of this? Give me a call! I can provide you with personalized advice based on your tree species and local conditions, and handle any pruning and tree trimming you might not be prepared to handle.