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How to Protect Your Trees from Sunscald

Professional Tree Care

When you're preparing your yard for winter, almost every step involves making your trees ready for dormancy and protecting them from the oncoming cold. But if the weather is overly turbulent this year and you've already had a mix of sunny weather and icy storms, then your trees might be susceptible to sunscald.

What is sunscald?

Sunscald occurs when your trees normal winter schedule is interrupted. An atypically sunny period could wake your trees back up and make the inner lining behind the bark start to transport nutrients and water into the branches. But when the temperature falls again, either because of night or a return to normal cold temperatures, that new water turns to ice and damages the tree's tissue when it's least prepared to heal the damage. If the damage isn't caught, it can encourage mold and disease; it also weakens your tree enough for pests to burrow in.

What can you do to prevent sunscald?

The best way to protect the tree trunk during winter is to keep it in the shade. You can do this by wrapping crepe paper around the trunk (starting at the bottom and working your way up), or by putting up a small, shading fence. It's also important to have an arborist inspect your trees for past signs of sunscald damage and so they can identify the trees most susceptible to the damage for immediate wrapping.

Young trees are more sensitive than older ones, and November is the prime time for tree wrapping. Go to Advanced Tree Care here to schedule an appointment and get your trees ready for winter.