Common Winter Tree and Shrub Problems

Kevin Smith January 31, 2022

Winter can be a truly trying time for our trees and shrubs. The harsh temperatures and conditions can kill foliage, damage tree bark, and weaken branches and roots. The ways in which humans and animals handle winter also take a toll on your trees and shrubs. Limited food sources can cause the animals to feed on your tree bark and shrubs, and the salt we use for our roads can also wreak havoc on our soil health. 

These threats can wear heavily on the overall health of your trees and plants if you aren’t aware. Here at Red’s Tree Service, we are experts on tree and shrub health during winter, so reach out to us for any concerns or questions you may have. 

Let’s walk through some of the common winter tree and shrub problems you might encounter.

Common Winter Tree and Shrub Problems

Winter Weather Concerns

The colder temps can cause many concerns for your trees and shrubs. Evergreens are very susceptible to “winter burn,” which causes the foliage to turn yellow to brown for a few possible reasons. Loss of water, frozen roots not being able to move water, and even the limited warmth from the sun causing cellular activity that is damaged when the sun sets can lead to this unsightly event. 

Less rainfall in the winter can also pose a problem to trees struggling to absorb groundwater with frozen roots. The constant freezing and thawing of the soil surrounding the base of the trees and shrubs will cause frost heaving to occur. This process of ground movement can push shallow-rooted plants out of the ground and make them more susceptible to wind damage.

Another common cause of concern in winter weather is branch health. The lack of water, colder temperatures, and snow and ice accumulation can cause branches to weaken and break in the winter months.

How Humans and Animals Affect Trees and Shrubs in Winter

Often, we don’t think about how our acts of winter safety can affect our trees and shrubs, but the salt we put down on our roads can actually seep into the soil and damage them. This type of damage is slow but can’t cause a significant decline in the tree and shrub’s health from roots to bark, foliage, and buds. This can stunt the plant’s growth over time.

Another common issue in winter is when the ground foliage dies back, and the animals begin to look for supplemental food sources. Tree bark is packed full of nutrients that rabbits, mice, and other rodents like to eat. Deer also like to snack on branches and tree stems. This grazing damages your trees and shrubs by exposing the base and can cause death.

Common Winter Tree and Shrub Problems

Turn to the Experts at Red’s Tree Service for Help

Different trees and shrubs will face various problems in winter, and Red’s Tree Service can help with all of them. We know how to take proper care of your trees and shrubs, from prepping for winter to addressing what winter does. When you have questions or concerns, having an arborist you can trust makes all the difference in the health and longevity of your trees. Give us a call for your FREE estimate today!