Mpls Landscaping Tips: How to Care for Your Trees Over the Winter

Winter here in Minneapolis brings on a lot of changes – cold, wind, snow and lots of ice.  Homeowners around the Twin Cities are dealing with the cold, and that means trees are also doing the same thing. Trees however, do not have a warm house to duck inside when the wind starts whipping and the temperatures start to fall below freezing.

“While your trees seem to be in a state of hibernation in the winter, exposure to the tough conditions can cause them major stress,” said Jim Skiera, Executive Director of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). “Minimize that stress by helping your trees through the cold months, a little at a time. If you take care of your trees in the winter, you’ll be rewarded in the spring.”

Winter Tree Care Tips

  1. Prune the trees in your yard – Pruning in the winter can be great since you’re able to see more without the leaves getting in the way. Only prune the dead limbs and poor branches to save as much of the good, live tree as you can.
  2. Use composted organic mulch to protect the roots of the tree right at the base. This can help to retain the water and reduce the extremes that come with the falling temperatures. It is mostly a nice, snug blanket wrapped around the tree for protection.
  3. Prevent any injuries from happening to your trees. Any ice or snow accumulating on the tree or animals that come to rub or chew on the tree can cause damage. Wrap the base of the tree in a hard metal or plastic cloth to protect it. If you use a burlap wrap, this can provide a warm blanket. When the spring comes, make sure to remove the wraps to help the tree grow.
  4. Don’t let your trees get thirsty.  If the water is not forthcoming during the winter season, make sure to get out there and give your trees a nice little drink to thrive off of. Water on warmer days when the temperature is cooler but not below freezing temperatures since this can cause more damage.


Taking proper care of your trees and shrubs all year long is important to maintaining your landscape. If you need a bit of help with yours, give Architectural Landscape Design a call.