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Remember to Protect Your Trees and Shrubs During the Winter

Our winters in Wilmington are relatively mild compared to what our northern neighbors experience, but you still need to look out for your trees and shrubs during the colder months. The winter can actually be a great time for pruning, and there are a few other tasks you can do during this season. This will keep your trees strong, healthy, and ready to thrive and really develop in the spring.

Pruning and Trimming

The dormant season can be an ideal time to prune trees in Wilmington. Without as many leaves getting in the way, dead and declining twigs and branches can be more easily removed. After trees are pruned, they can sometimes be vulnerable. In the summer, pests and infections tend to spread easily to vulnerable trees because of the warm weather. If you prune in the winter, trees are less at risk. Plus, having your trees pruned in the winter gets them ready for the spring. In the spring, they can then focus all of their energy on growing in healthy ways rather than sending nutrients to branches that may be decayed.


Our area can be pretty windy, so some trees may need more support in the form of cabling. The winter season gives us an opportunity to get a good look at the natural structure of particular trees. If necessary, we can install a cabling system or adjust any cabling that you’ve already had installed. Cabling does need to be adjusted periodically as trees grow. With the right support structure in place, a tree can better withstand severe winter weather.


In the winter, some plants continue to need water. If we go through a dry spell or it dips below freezing, a tree or shrub can have trouble accessing enough water. If this happens, water could be drawn out of living cells, causing parts of the plant to turn brown and decay. You can help prevent an issue by mulching the area around the tree. Mulch can help the soil retain water. For many plants, about four inches of mulch is ideal.

Protection From Deer

Deer are part of many neighborhoods in Wilmington. In the winter, they can get hungry, and they may start eating your shrubs and trees. Fencing is the best way to protect your property. If this isn’t a practical solution, you can protect individual plants. Plastic or mesh tree guards can be wrapped around tree bark. Chicken wire and burlap can work as well. In addition, planting deer-resistant species, using deer repellant, and adding motion-activated lights could work to deter deer. Some people have experimented with motion-activated sprinklers and sound devices, too.

Get Ready for the Winter

The winter can be a beautiful time in Wilmington, and you’ll want to be sure that your plants can make it through the season. We hope these tips will help you. If you ever need assistance, contact A+ Tree & Landscaping.

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