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Winter Landscaping Checklist

During the winter a person has to make some changes to their home. They need to make sure the home is properly insulated and that they have the resources to heat the home. They also need to make some changes to their landscape. While the landscape may go dormant in the winter the yard will still need some lawn maintenance. There is a definitive list of landscaping tasks that must be completed during the winter months.

Put Down Mulch

It is important to put mulch around the trees, plants, and shrubs. This will give them additional protection during the winter. Mulch is also needed to control erosion and water loss from the plants. A two-inch layer of mulch will help protect the roots of the plants. Do not cover the trunk of any of the plants. Mulch helps hold in the moisture and this will cause the roots to begin to rot.


When the trees and other plants are dormant for the season they can be pruned. Pruning in the latter part of the winter will allow fresh leaves to be exposed to the harsh elements for a shorter time. The trees need to be carefully inspected and only the branches that are dead or falling should be cut off. Unless a person is an experienced tree pruner they should contact a professional lawn expert to perform this service.

Water Specific Trees and Shrubs

If there are evergreen plants or shrubs as part of the landscaping they still need to be watered. These plants can get diseases or die from lack of water. The trees are going to need to water to care for the leaves that die and fall off. They need to be able to produce new leaves. They go through a lot of water, especially when the air is cold and dry. The newly planted evergreens should be planted first. Their roots are not deep enough or strong enough to take in water from the frozen ground or use the water that is stored. They will still need to be watered frequently.

Carefully Check Landscaping Materials

Different agents are commonly used during the winter that will damage plants and trees. Salt and ice melts can harm these items. They will draw out the stored water from their roots. To remove any salt that has gotten into the ground. The soil can be flushed out with water. Slick conditions can cause harm in the winter. There are other options to control ice that will not harm the plants. Kitty litter or sand can be used in place of salt. They are just as effective and will not harm the landscape. 

Check for Damage

The landscaping should be checked often for damage. Winter conditions are harsh. There are high winds, snowstorms, ice, and other aspects that can harm the trees. Branches can die and they may fall which can become hazards. Trees need to be inspected during the winter. Their branches need to be examined to make sure they are not falling. Trees need a lot of care. An ISA certified professional should be called to check the tree. They need to make sure that the tree is in the ground and is stable. After a major storm, a professional will need to examine the trees and assess the damage. If there is damage to the landscaping they need to develop a plan to take care of it before it becomes a serious problem. a landscaping professional can assess the health of the plants in the winter and make sure they did not become a safety hazard after a storm.