How to Protect Trees in the Winter: Best Practices

By: Shelby McCullough| Published: January 1, 2022

how to protect trees in winterAlthough trees are strong and durable, they require extra care to continue standing tall during winter.

As your tree service experts in Orlando, McCullough Tree Service can help you protect your natural landscape with year-round services. Thankfully, caring for your young trees in the winter is not always a difficult task. Below are some helpful tips on how to protect trees in the winter and keep your landscape beautiful.


One of the most important things you can do for your trees is water them as the winter weather approaches. Water plenty until mid-November, then sprinkle a few watering throughout the winter months. As young trees grow, they require sufficient soil moisture during the first three years, especially during the winter.

Thankfully, Florida winters rarely see freezing temperatures and snow. For areas that do freeze, it’s best to water during thaws when the water can successfully seep through the soil.


Placing additional mulch around your trees is an excellent way to protect your trees from freezing temperatures. Placing a three-inch-thick layer of mulch at the end of the fall season offers two main benefits:

  1. Reduces water loss in the soil
  2. Provides insulation for the roots during cold temperatures

When placing mulch around the tree, spread a later two feet wide, avoiding the trunk and covering the roots.


Winter often comes with cold winds that make it easy for trees to freeze or fall over. Attaching a stake to a tree helps secure it during heavy winds and promotes healthier growth.

When attaching stakes, use weather- and moisture-resistant materials such as rubber for additional durability and protection.

Avoid Salt

When learning how to protect trees in the winter, one of the most essential steps to remember is to avoid salt.

Although salt effectively breaks up ice on the road, it can damage the roots of young trees. The roots of a young tree require sufficient amounts of water, oxygen, and nutrients to grow. Salt interferes with this process and prevents the tree from growing properly.

Pest Prevention

Part of maintaining effective winter tree care is pest prevention. Rain and snow can wash away previously applied spray repellents, attracting unwanted pests to your trees.

When it comes to pest prevention during the winter, there are two steps you can take:

  1. Apply repellents after every snow or rainfall
  2. Use tree guards or wire cages to barricade the tree trunks

Sun Protection

Winter sun can be more harmful than you may think. The sun thaws the bark during the day, but the night often comes with freezing temperatures that cause the trunk to freeze again rapidly.

Rapid freezing can cause cracks in the tree trunk and prevent it from collecting water. Wrapping your tree trunks with crepe paper blocks the sun and protects your tree from sunscald.

Protecting your trees is a year-round endeavor. McCullough Tree Service can help you learn how to improve tree health and keep your landscape looking beautiful all year long.

Our team of certified arborists is dedicated to maintaining the health and beauty of your trees, ensuring your landscape remains safe and attractive. Trust us to bring top-notch tree care solutions to your doorstep. Learn more about how to protect trees in the winter or schedule a service with McCullough Tree Service in Orlando by calling (407) 734-5854.

Shelby McCullough

About The Author: Shelby McCullough

With over two decades of experience in the tree industry, Shelby McCullough is a highly skilled certified arborist and the proprietor of McCullough Tree Service. His unparalleled expertise and profound understanding of trees set him apart in his field.