Safeguarding Your Trees in Falls Church with Winter Tree Protection Measures

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:

  • Place the bulb under the burlap or cover.
  • Switch it on, making sure the bulb doesn’t touch the tree.
  • Close it up.

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!