winter injury

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on November 11, 2014 by TruGreen

Your trees and grasses are dormant in the winter, but still potentially vulnerable. Trees are particularly susceptible to injury in the cold months and can suffer in the spring because of it. Tree service during the cold months can help your foliage shine when spring arrives.

What Causes Winter Damage?

Low temperatures, frost and dry air can make the winter months a struggle for survival, especially for your exposed plants and trees. Rapid temperature drops and low soil moisture in the wintertime are particularly powerful injury culprits. Here are the worst offenders:

  • Dry conditions: For the same reason our lips and skin can feel dry and chapped in the winter, plants can struggle to find moisture as well. Lower moisture content in the air can create a desiccated winter environment. A plant can show symptoms of scorched and dropped leaves, mottling on the leaves or even death of leaves and twigs. In severe cases, the plant may not recover.
  • Low temperature: When temperatures drop below a plant’s natural tolerance—especially when such a drop happens quickly—the plant can struggle. If the sun has warmed a plant or tree bark before the temperature drop, sunscald and frost cracks are a readily recognizable outcome. If leaves die back completely, bark splits or leaves turn brown or black, suspect low temperature problems. Only if the root is killed will the plant be unable to recover.
  • Frost: In the fall and spring, humidity in the air combined with near- or below-freezing temperatures results in frost, which can be particularly problematic if the plant is still actively growing or producing. Frostbite shows up on plants as brown or black flowers, buds, leaves or even fruit. New leaves and shoots will often twist, curl or wilt in frost conditions.

Tree Service Can Help

TruGreen®’s shrub and tree services take specific, proven steps to control for winter injury. Your PhD-certified specialist will recommend plants that are naturally hardy to the area and help you manage any trees or shrubs that are particularly susceptible. Some steps you can take include:

  • Planting trees and shrubs in well-drained soil conditions.
  • Using mulch and checking soil moisture in advance of freezing conditions. If the soil has sufficient moisture early in the cold months, it can protect the plant through the winter.
  • Use wind breaks to prevent against winter desiccation.
  • Use a customized TruGreen plan to provide nutrient content, protection and water to your landscaping.

Stop problems before they start by contacting TruGreen today. Check out their website,, for customized local pricing on winter injury prevention, year-round tree service and whole-yard packages for every individual circumstance.

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