Protect Your Trees from Winter’s Wrath

Photo of Tree with SnowTrees and shrubs in Brookside and surrounding areas take a real beating during the winter months. There are several things to look out for when winter arrives. Winter’s heavy snow and ice, as well as frozen soil conditions can damage trees and shrubs. KC Arborist is your Brookside tree company and we want to make sure your trees and shrubs stay healthy. Here are some things to pay attention to when Old Man Winter comes calling.

Protect New/Young Plants from the Sun

You wouldn’t think the sun would be a problem on winter days, but on sunny days in the winter, the tree’s trunk and main limbs can warm to 15 degrees higher than the air temperature. As soon as the sun’s rays stop reaching the stem, its temperature plummets, causing injury or permanent damage to the bark. The two main types of injury are known as sun scald and frost cracking. The effects of sun scald and frost cracking can be reduced by covering the trunks of young, susceptible trees with a suitable tree wrap.

Wind Damage

Even areas without major snowfall experience high winds and fluctuations in temperatures, causing serious stress for trees and shrubs. Winds can make temperatures feel even colder due to the wind chill factor. The force of the wind can cause physical damage from movement, but the wind can also dry trees and shrubs out. Again, if you have new plants or trees or shrubs with no wind break nearby (a house, a fence, other plants, etc.) you may want to cover them with burlap for added protection from sun and wind. If you cover plants, make sure you take the cover off early in the spring to avoid mold or mildew.


Dormant plants still need water. Winter-hardy plants in Brookside and surrounding areas generally go dormant for the winter months. But even though the plants aren’t growing, they require water to remain healthy. It’s particularly crucial to water trees and shrubs during winter drought conditions. Long-term drought conditions compromise a plant and can cause it to die. So when should you water in the winter? It’s best to water when the soil temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid freezing the plants’ roots which can damage them.

Snow & Ice Damage

Occasionally, we get a heavy ice storm or snow that is wet and heavy that collects on branches threatening to break them. When this happens, you can help your plants out by gently shaking the snow off or brushing it off. Be careful, because the branches may be brittle and you don’t want to cause more damage. With ice, it’s best just to leave them alone or risk breaking branches. If moderate storm damage does occur, restoring the tree to its former health may take some time. However, the tree can usually make a full recovery if broken and hazardous limbs are removed immediately.

Tree Damage 24-Hour Emergency Response Service

If ice or snow does cause a branch to break or you need emergency winter tree care or tree removal after a storm, we offer a 24-hour emergency response service. You may reach us after hours by calling our office at (913) 390-0033 or (816) 965-0539. Our 24-hour answering service will get you the help you need. If you just need help with your trees in Brookside, call KC Arborist for a free on-site appointment and pruning estimate.