Caring For Your Trees In Winter.


There is something very calming about looking out into your wintery yard and knowing all your plants and trees are resting for the winter. Luckily, they have a natural ability to prepare themselves for dormancy and are extremely resilient. That’s not to say though, that the stress of an intense cold season does not wear on your precious greens. Trees, particularly young ones, will likely experience some sort of damage without the proper protection by you, the homeowner. Read through these helpful winter care tips to ensure your greens come back strong and revived next Spring!


Lay about 2 inches of organic mulch right along the drip line of your trees in order to keep roots and soil protected from extreme cold.  It also helps trap moisture and water from escaping the soil. A helpful hint is to wait until after the ground freezes to lay mulch, this prevents mice from making your nice soft mulch their nesting spot for the winter.

Hydrate & Feed.

Late Fall is the ideal time to water and fertilize your greens because a good dose of nutrients will help them stay nourished, protect against diseases and support root development throughout the dormant months of winter.  Fertilizing a plant or tree right before winter months will also support healthy new growth in the early spring as the nutrients stay present in the soil for the roots to absorb for several months.


To prevent your evergreens from experiencing desiccation, a state of extreme dryness, we recommend applying a healthy dose of anti-desiccant spray before the freeze. Our anti-desiccant solution, leaves a thin waxy film on the surface of the plant, sealing off it’s tiny pores and preventing any moisture from evaporating.

Protect From Ice Melt.

It may take some time for you to notice the effects salt has on your plants, as it will first be absorbed into the soil, and will slowly move to the roots, stems and buds causing permanent decline and even death to your greens. Since it’s such common practice during snow storms, what can you do? Create a barrier between pathways and the street and your plantings.  Improve drainage by adding charcoal or gypsum to your soil. Avoid using rock salt all together or dilute it with sand.


Winter is actually a fantastic time to inspect trees and identify problem branches and dead wood.  Pruning during the dormant months is also smart because it will prevent diseases from spreading because disease organisms are dormant.

Why Your Evergreens Need Anti-Desiccant Spray

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Temperatures here in Westchester and Fairfield County have remained mild, but with high 30s predicted next week, we can be confident the dry cold weather is creeping near. For us, winter is a time for hibernation; avoiding the outdoors, sleeping more, eating comfort foods and keeping warm by a fire. Since trees and shrubs are rooted outside, there is no escaping the prolonged dry and cold weather which can be particularly damaging, especially to evergreens. When evergreens are continuously exposed to freezing temps, they experience desiccation; a state of extreme dryness. What does evergreen desiccation looks like? We’ve all seen it, a beautiful looking evergreen speckled with light brown blotches from winter scorch (see picture above). To prevent this from happening, we recommend applying an anti-desiccant spray to all your azaleas, rhododendrons, hollies or any needled evergreens. Our anti-desiccant solution, leaves a thin waxy film on the surface of the plant, sealing off it’s tiny pores and preventing any moisture from evaporating.

Here at Emerald Tree and Shrub Care, our crews monitor the climate’s effects on your evergreens very closely.  We start off by recommending an anti-desiccant spray right before temps drop to freezing, usually in Mid to Late-November.  We spray both the upper and lower leaf surface, making sure to seal the entire plant. As winter progresses, if it’s particularly cold and dry, we may recommend a follow up spray in January or February.

If you want to protect your plants and shrubs from the cold and harsh winter that the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting, call today to schedule an application of Anti-Desiccant spray to all your evergreens, hollies, azaleas and rhododendrons.  914-725-0441.