New Year, New Landscape: Preparation Begins Now

Although winter brings cold, frigid temperatures here in the northeast, Emerald Arborists are currently hard at work maintaining landscapes, preparing them to thrive in 2021.

At Emerald, our experts are well aware of the many threats that come with the long winter months. Snow and heavy ice are just two of the elements that can threaten the health of your plantings. Others may include:

  • Dry winds and sun that can ‘burn’ broad-leaf evergreen foliage and conifer needles, which continue to give off vapor during winter
  • Frozen soil that leads to less water intake, as plantings cannot easily replace moisture lost from evaporation
  • Winter sun that heats up tree bark, which can freeze and crack when temperatures quickly drop at sunset
  • Thawing or unusually mild temperatures that can trick plants into breaking dormancy too early. This could result in new growth being harmed or killed during the next cold spell
  • Cold spells that take place earlier in the winter. Early drops in temperature can cause damage plantings that haven’t had a chance to harden off before winter
  • The constant pattern of freezing and thawing over the winter months can push plantings out of the ground, exposing their roots to frigid temperatures
  • When food becomes scarce, animals such as mice, rabbits, deer and others may nibble at leaves and twigs

For any homeowner, monitoring and managing these threats may seem daunting. At Emerald, our solution to fighting winter damage is found through out Plant Health Care Program, coupled with a team of expert Arborists. Our clients can rest well knowing that we are on the ground and extremely busy during the winter, keeping properties healthy and safe. Here are a few of the items our Arborists and technicians focus on, efforts that help prepare landscapes to thrive in the months ahead.


Regardless of the season, your trees need proper care. The winter months are one of the best times to inspect and diagnose for potential diseases. With foliage at a minimal level, our team can more easily observe branching structures, decaying areas, weak branches, and detect cracks. When the spring and summer months arrive, these details are harder to notice, so inspecting during dormant months and applying preventative treatments are great ways to prepare plantings for a healthy, fruitful spring.


 As we’ve detailed before, trees and shrubs can greatly benefit from pruning during the dormant season. Not only will winter pruning prevent diseases from being easily spread, but our technicians are also trained remove damaged or dead branches. These efforts help divert nutrients into other areas of plantings, promoting healthier, hardier blooms.


Drought within trees and shrubs occurs when plantings lose more water than they can soak up from the frozen ground. Add extra wind to the mix, and this can be very problematic for your landscape. It’s very hard to prevent drought from occurring, and that is why our experts apply generous layers of mulch to the base of plantings towards the end of fall/beginning of winter. Mulch helps slow down moisture loss and runoff, keeping roots warm during the cold winter months.

Pest Control

Foraging pests can also cause problems to your landscape during the winter. Rabbits, mice, deer and other furry friends can chew through bark, leaving trunks damaged and more susceptible to winter elements. At Emerald, we protect the health of your family and landscaping with our conventional and environmentally safe pest control treatments. For example, we strategically place temporary fencing and apply deer resistant materials to foliage, preventing deer from browsing on properties during the winter months.

The techniques and treatments listed above are just a few of the measures our team puts into place every year to keep landscapes durable throughout every season. The best defense is a good offense, and our clients see first-hand the benefits that proactive, preventative winter treatments have on their plantings come spring and summer.

As we look ahead to a new year, consider the many benefits your landscape will reap during the warmer active months with the help of Emeralds’ Plant Health Care Program. For questions or more information about winter care, please contact us directly at (914)725-0441 or (203)422-2441.