Some measure of reliable winter tree protection doesn’t just protect tree trunks from heavy snow; it’s invaluable in protecting thin-barked or young trees against the wintery cold and sunscald. 

In this post, the go-to tree service in Falls Church, G&V Tree Service, explains more about properly protecting your trees this winter.

winter tree protection

Winter Tree Protection Techniques Made Simple

It’s not just newly planted trees and shrubs that benefit from protection; all backyard trees need a helping hand once in a while. Try the following:

Completely Cover Young Trees

If the temperature’s likely to drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), you’ll need to warm up your trees. With saplings, it’s best to cover the entire tree with a sheet, tarp, or burlap to keep the cold out. Use clothespins or twine to close the cover properly.

Protect the Trunk of Mature Trees

This step is impractical with mature trees, but you can follow a similar process with the trunk with wraps or plastic tree guards. You can also insulate the tree by piling soil around the trunk up to a height of about two feet. 

Water Your Trees

It seems counterintuitive, but you can warm trees by watering them at the coolest time of day. The reason for this winter tree protection measure is that the water releases heat as it changes into ice. Wet soil also absorbs more of the sun’s rays, which warms up the tree more effectively. 

Adopt a Scorched Earth Policy

It’s healthier if the earth around the tree trunk is bare rather than letting weeds or grass grow there. The soil retains heat during the day and releases it at night. If you have other things growing there, these plants steal all the benefits from your tree.

Consider Mulching

If it’s really cold and there isn’t much sunshine, mulching is a great way to insulate the tree’s roots. Apply a layer of wood chips one or two inches thick, starting a few inches from the trunk and extending to the drip line. Mulch also smothers weeds.

One More Tip—Use Heat Lamps For Saplings

Tree care doesn’t typically require heat lamps. However, in critical cases, these lamps can be useful for keeping saplings warm via this simple process:

Experts like G&V Tree Service, Inc. advise that you use a 100-watt bulb or Christmas lights. 

What Happens if Your Tree Suffers Cold Damage? 

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your tree suffers. Here’s how to help your tree recover:

Avoid Pruning

Don’t trim branches straight away. Wait until the spring to see what sprouts. The exception is if you notice frosted fruit or mushy branches.


If your tree needs more shade, protect the bits that are unshaded. For example, you can paint the trunk with chalk paint or cover it with a sheet to protect it against sun damage.

Repair Sunscald

If it’s too late for your tree, an arborist service can remove the damaged area with a sterilized saw or knife. A clean cut allows the wound to heal better, but even though some people advocate for applying tar or some other sealant, this is outdated advice and can cause further damage. The only time you should apply anything is a fungicide, where necessary. 

Contact Our Team for the Best Advice

Now that you understand more about winter tree protection, you may have other questions. Whether you’re wondering about root rot treatment for trees or trimming, the G&V Tree Service team can help.

Do the best for your trees and contact G&V Tree Service at 703-569-2570 today!

Trees are robust, beautiful additions to many homeowners’ yards, but they need some help from time to time. Strong winds are one of the most damaging effects your tree will deal with regularly, so if you want to keep your tree healthy and strong, you must deal with it head-on. 

Keeping a tree protected from harsh winds isn’t too difficult or expensive. Most older, healthy trees will have no problem standing steady against all but the most severe winds. Younger trees, however, will need some more help to maintain their stability.

Fortunately, Alexandria’s tree service professionals at G&V Tree Service are here to help you protect your trees from wind. Here are a few simple tips to keep your tree safe and secure on those exceptionally windy days.

Keep Your Tree Healthy

The best defense a tree has against strong winds is actually itself! Trees are adapted to deal with harsh environments, including heavy winds. But in order to protect themselves, your trees will need to be healthy and resilient. 

Keeping your tree watered is one of the best ways to keep it healthy. A healthy tree that gets regular hydration will stand tall against heavy winds. You’ll also want to prune any dead branches to keep excess weight off the tree whenever possible.

A healthy adult tree will see its tree roots anchor it into the ground, keeping it heavily resistant against even the strongest of winds.

Utilize Tree Support Stakes

Using tree support stakes is an easy and affordable solution for protecting trees from wind damage. This method is highly effective on smaller trees that don’t yet have the bulk to support themselves.

With proper placement, tree stakes can keep a tree from toppling while allowing it to grow unhindered. Tree stakes will give the tree time to secure itself into the ground and develop its root systems.

Find a Safe Location for Your Tree

One of the best ways to keep a tree safe from harsh winds is to keep it out of the path of heavy winds. When planting a new tree, you’ll want to find a place in your yard that is less windy while still being relatively sunny. 

With proper placement, a young tree should only have to deal with minor winds. Once the tree grows larger and more resilient, it will keep more leaves and branches whenever heavy winds come.

Planting in a proper location will keep your tree growing while minimizing the chance of it uprooting during a wind storm. Just make sure large deciduous trees have the space they need to grow.

Attach a Protective Tree Covering

Tree covers are an effective way to help young trees resist heavy winds. These covers fit over the young tree and help keep it from losing the branches and leaves that help sustain it.

These covers are also an ideal way to prevent younger trees from frosting over, so there’s no better option when a winter storm is coming. Just remember to remove any tree coverings once the winds and frost have passed.

Get Some Help from the Pros

Keeping your tree healthy is the best plan for protecting your trees from wind, and the best way to do that is with professional help. 

Here at G&V Tree Service, we know how to handle any tree emergency. Our team of experienced and educated tree experts can help keep your tree safe and healthy, regardless of what mother nature throws your way. 

If you want the best for your trees, give us a call at 703.337.3080 today to set an appointment.

Why worry about storm preparedness for your property’s trees? All trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they can be hazardous during and after severe weather. 

G&V offers reputable tree services in Alexandria, VA, and nearby areas. Below, these local tree experts share tips to keep your trees safe during thunderstorms.

10 Tree-Specific Preparation Tips for Bad Weather

Whether you have large or small trees on your Virginia property, it pays to prepare them for storms before disaster strikes and invalidates your insurance policies. Here are ten valuable tree-specific tips to help you do that:

1. Do a Pre-Storm Tree Inspection

Is your area expecting a thunderstorm or hurricane? Inspect your trees before the storm hits. You might also want to look for termites or other insects living in or under the bark of your trees and weaken them.

If you notice any damage, call a professional arborist like G&V as soon as possible. Early intervention may help to prevent structural damage and save unprotected trees.

2. Trim Low-Hanging Tree Branches

It is always a good idea to trim branches away from power lines and doors and windows. Cleared space will also make it easier for emergency responders to get in and out of your home if you need to evacuate during a storm.

3. Secure Loose Items

Have you drawn up a storm preparedness plan? Your plan should include tying down all outdoor furniture and other structures that could damage the home, its residents, or its trees in strong winds or floods.

4. Remove Dead Tree Limbs

In the same way that loose furniture could smash windows or crash through walls, dead limbs on a tree can break off during a bad storm. Remove dead limbs before a storm hits, so they do not fall on the people or cars below.

5. Don’t Forget Landscaping

Remember to trim hedges and smaller trees before a storm too. Otherwise, they could blow over, block driveways, or damage vehicles during high winds.

6. Water Trees Regularly

Keeping trees well-watered during dry weather could prevent drought stress that weakens their root systems. If you keep them strong, trees will be less susceptible to storm damage.

7. Thin Out Any Thick-Canopied Trees

One of the best tips to prepare for a storm is to thin out the canopy of larger trees. It makes them more wind resistant and less likely to sustain damage during a storm.

8. Avoid Lion-tailing Trees

If you have ever removed smaller branches from larger ones and left only a tuft of foliage at the ends, you’ll understand why it is called lion-tailing. Over lifting, which is removing too many of the lower tree branches, and lion-tailing are both techniques that will weaken the tree.

9. Prune Carefully

Tree experts warn against flush cuts when pruning. Leaving a stub at least 3 inches long is far healthier and will reduce the risk of disease or insect infestation.

10. Plant Good Quality Trees and Trees Adapted to Virginia

The final tip is to plant good-quality trees. Healthy trees will likely survive any bout of Virginia weather. Why not look at the hardy American Elm or American Red Oak as the next addition?

Great Local Tree Care Service in Alexandria, VA

Storms are a fact of life in Alexandria, VA, but it pays to prepare your trees and property before the weather hits. At G&V, our tree service includes exceptional storm-related services, such as raising the tree canopy to keep trees looking fabulous ahead of the next hurricane season.

Call G&V at 703-337-3080 today to learn more about storm preparedness from our ISA-certified team in Alexandria, VA.