Winter tree care tactics

Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 at 9:22 PM CST
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Right now, Christmas lights cover many Texoma trees, but under all the sparkle and shine they might need a little TLC.

Believe it or not there are some tree care tactics that are best done in the winter.

David Graf, Wichita County Ag Extension Agent, says pruning is one of them.

With trees not actively growing this is the perfect time to give them a trim. But watch out, over pruning is a common problem.

“Trees self-prune, so if it has part of a tree limb that dies it will eventually fall and break off,” said Graf. “We need to realize in nature it doesn’t take a lot of pruning to do that, so you want to be cautious with that.”

He said never take off more than 25-percent of the actual foliage. Pruning in the right spot is also important.

“You want to be right at the edge of what’s called the collar of the tree,” Graf said.

That is the swollen area at the base of the branch.

Also be sure to use the proper tools so bark does not tear.

For healthy trees put wood chip mulch or compost around them. This will help hold moisture for the root system. Graf suggest three to four inches of mulching. That will also control the weeds.

Charlie Carr, with Texas Tree and Landscape, said if trees bud out later than other trees of the same species come spring time, they might be stressed.

That is when injectors could be the solution. Depending on the problem they can be injected with insecticide, fungicide or antibiotics for bacterial issues.

Graf said these injections only work if you put the product in the fluid system.

“So when that sap is moving up, which is in the spring and summer is when you need to do injections there,” he said.

Graf adds injectors are not a cure all, but they are a way to be proactive. While you can do it yourself Graf suggests calling someone who is certified, but that can run you anywhere from $150 to $600 depending on the size of your tree.

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