Keeping Your Winter Lawn Safe for Spring

At Quality Tree Service, we understand that Medford citizens love their lawns. With relatively warm seasons and temperatures dropping to freezing in Oregon’s winter, keeping up your lawn is a year-round process. Obviously, winter lawn care will not require as much work from you as during the summer, but there are several steps you can take to ensure your lawn returns strong and vibrant in the spring.

 

Dormant Grass

 

Because of the climate in Medford, our lawns experience a robust warm season followed by several freezing points during the winter. Grass goes dormant, its color fading to brown. This warm season lawn requires very little of you; however, if you want a year-round lawn, you could over-seed with a perennial or annual grass such as ryegrass before the first frost hits.

 

Weeding

 

If you have a lawn with a lot of weeds, you will need to continue mowing in winter. Set your mower to the usual height for cutting. Most weeds you see will die in the face of repeated mowing. Make sure you use a bag attachment to prevent reseeding the weeds. Pro tip: go get your new 2018 calendar and mark September as the time to use a pre-emergent herbicide to cut down on winter weeds.

 

Simple Care

 

Be mindful of where you walk during winter. You do not want to walk on a lawn that faces a hard freeze or snowfall. If you must walk on the lawn, vary your path to protect turf-grass crowns. If you don’t, your lawn will have bare spots in the spring.

 

Regarding the leaves, if you were unable to clear all of them before the snow got here, watch for a temporary thaw, and get it done then. These leaves will kill off turf crowns and could cause snow mold to grow in your lawn, further damaging it. Be very careful when raking, especially on moist soil, so you don’t pull up your grass. On that same 2018 calendar, put notes in the fall months reminding you to pick up all the leaves before the first snow arrives.

 

These simple steps can help you have the lawn you want come spring. For more help or to schedule your spring lawn maintenance, give Quality Tree Services of Medford a call today.

Protect Your Trees from Winter’s Wrath

The icy grip of winter approaches, and it’s not just your house or car that needs help withstanding some of the year’s toughest months. To keep the trees on your property healthy and hardy so they can provide that lovely shade you enjoy the rest of the year, you need to protect them from the deep freeze of winter.

Freezing temperatures bring multiple dangers to your plants. Anything that isn’t hardy will likely not make it through the season. Extremely cold temperatures, fluctuating temperatures, or stress on plants prior to the season places your foliage at greater risk of decay. Be on the lookout for some of these freeze dangers.

 

Sun Scald

If your trees have long dried or cracked areas of dead bark, most often found on the southern facing side of the plant, the trees have experienced sun scalding. Direct sunlight stimulates cambial activity, which cold temperatures then kill. Young or newly planted trees or those with thin bark are at the greatest risk. Protect the trees by wrapping them with tree wraps, plastic guards, or a light-colored material for the winter.

 

Winter Discoloration

Yew, arborvitae, or hemlock plants face the greatest risk to discoloration, a sign your plant is slowly dying. Do not plant these types of plants on the southern side of your property if they are not protected from the sun or wind. Set pine boughs or Christmas tree greens against these plants to protect them and encourage snow build up, a natural protector. Care for them properly throughout the year so they are strong and healthy come winter.

 

Dieback

Shoot dieback or bud death strikes deciduous trees and shrubs when winter comes. Flowering buds face more risk than their vegetative brethren. Forsythia provides a great example, where the stems and leaves remain strong, but the flower buds experience freeze injuries. Protecting against dieback can be difficult. If you plant the semi-hardy versions in protected or sheltered areas, you can make it easier for the plants to thrive. Any plant that experiences vigorous fall growth is at extreme risk of dieback; avoid trimming or overwatering to prevent this.

Quality Tree Service of Medford encourages year-round maintenance to protect your landscaping. If damage has occurred, contact us today for help in saving your injured plants.

 

Fall Tree Care Tips

Fall Is the Time for Tree Health Inspections

Fall is an excellent time to assess the health of your trees in Medford and to schedule pruning or removal services before winter. As the leaves begin to drop, you may notice some of your trees showing signs of damage, rot, or pest infestations. Summertime can encourage warm-weather infestations and other problems. Use fall to your advantage to get a clearer picture of your trees’ health. Then, call Quality Tree Service for tree care.

Fall Is the Time for Tree Health Inspections
Fall Is the Time for Tree Health Inspections

Check for Tree Infestations

Oregon trees must stand up to several common diseases and nuisance insects, including aphids, elm leaf beetles, emerald ash borers, webworms, cankers disease, and fungal diseases. Signs of these issues may include trees losing foliage prematurely, leaves that look eaten, leaves that brown too early, or trees dying without explanation. The technicians at Quality Tree Service can assess your trees and remedy them or remove dead trees as necessary.

Rehydrate Your Plants

Winter can be hard on Medford trees, with dry weather and winds drying up the soil and weakening root systems. Fall is the best time of the year to focus on the soil, fertilization, and hydration of your landscaping. You may need to schedule subsurface watering to prevent stress during the winter months or feed your trees with extra fertilizer. Give your trees the hydration and nutrients they need to thrive in cold weather.

Remove Hazardous Branches

Now that leaves aren’t crowding your trees and concealing problems, you may spot branches that are broken or appear dead. Schedule removal of these limbs right away to prevent property damage or injuries. All it takes is a strong gust of fall wind to send dead tree limbs crashing to the ground. Dead limb and tree removal in fall are a great way to prevent hazards during winter storms. Quality Tree Service can trim hazardous branches and keep your home safe all winter long.

Sources:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/trees/60047

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/7-tree-maintenance-tips-fall.htm

http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/fall-checklist/

 

 

 

How To Have Beautiful Winter Landscaping At Your Home

The winter season is a great time of year to spend time around the house staying warm. This is especially true once the holidays have passed, since the chaos dies down and taking a little bit of time to rest is always nice.

If you aren’t planning a vacation or a trip out of town this winter, you might be hyper-aware of your house and your yard. Spending more time at home means really having time to tune into how cluttered or unkempt your home and your yard are.

While spring is the traditional time of year to do any decluttering or real gardening, there is plenty that you can do during the winter months to get your yard and your home prepared for spring.

Winter landscaping might seem a little pointless with all of the cold weather – not many plants or flowers can really survive the extreme temperatures. However, there are some simple things that you can do to improve the look of your outdoor landscaping, without trying to battle the weather:

  • If you’ve recently purchased your house, you may have some newly planted trees. Look for cracks around the planting hole, and fill in any with soil. This will protect the roots from the cold weather and ensure that your tree grows nicely and will look great in the spring
  • If any tree branches might be damaged by heavy snow or ice, it’s a good idea to prune them in advance. A landscape professional can recommend what branches should be cut before the winter storms start.
  • Should a winter storm hit, the wind can be particularly destructive. Secure any items that might get damaged by high winds, such as potted plants, awnings and outdoor furniture.
  • Wrapping plants and smaller trees in burlap or a frost protection fabric can help protect them from temperatures that drop below freezing, and planting them alongside a house or fence can give them some protection from the wind.

Improving the curb appeal and look of your yard is always a good thing – no matter what the season is. Use these simple tips for winter landscaping and get in the habit before the spring arrives.

 

The Dos and Don’ts Of Using Mulch In Your Landscaping

Spreading mulch is a great way to protect the root systems of your trees and bushes and also creates a gentle barrier between the fragile ground around your plants and the cold temperatures.

However, before you decide that you need to spread mulch all over your yard, it is important to be knowledgeable about the pros and cons of having mulch in your yard.

Your outdoor landscaping is an important part of your home’s curb appeal and should be well cared for all year around. Some people think that the winter months are a time to be more relaxed about their landscaping. However, it is actually the perfect time to get your landscaping ready for the spring season.

Laying mulch in your yard is a great thing to do to protect your trees – but, it is important to know how to work with this material.

Here are a few tips for you to follow:

  • If you, or someone who is visiting your home, is a smoker – make sure there is an old bucket with sand outside for cigarette butts. Throwing cigarette butts into the flower bed where there is mulch can easily lead to a fire. Obviously, this is more or a risk during the summer months when the weather is dry. But, throwing cigarette butts into the mulch bed is a bad habit any time of the year and it is best to set the expectation.
  • During the winter months it isn’t as necessary but, during the other months of the year it is important to water the mulch on your property to keep it moist and flame-retardant. Mulch is dark in color and can retain a lot of heat and get to high temperatures. Keeping it wet can help to keep those temperatures at a minimal level.
  • Make sure to spread mulch evenly and not too thick. When there are large piles of mulch that are very thick, steam can be created when the warmth within the mound of mulch mixes with the cold air. It is important to minimize this reaction as much as possible by spreading mulch no thicker than four inches.

Keep your home and your trees protected by following these tips on how to work with mulch.

 

Are Your Trees Ready For The Winter?

37910646_sHaving friends and family over for extended stays or dinner parties is a fun part of this time of the year. Thanksgiving is officially behind us and that means that the rest of the next few weeks will be filled with various holiday gatherings and visits.

Making sure that the outside of your home is prepared and is safe is an important part of being a good host.

If you have friends or family over and someone slips outside or is injured by a falling branch – not only will the holiday season be ruined but the months after will be very stressful.

Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your home and landscaping are prepared for the winter months as well as for having visitors over.

Here are a few things that you should have done in the next week or so:

Have the branches of your trees trimmed so that none of them are hanging low or hanging over the roof of your home. Having a low hanging branch fall onto the roof of your house could lead to damage to the roof and leaking.

Make sure that you have all of the debris and leaves around the property of your home cleaned up and raked away. When leaves fall onto the walkways or driveway of your home and get wet from the winter weather they can cause a very slippery surface to walk on.

Take a few minutes to walk around the outside of your home and make sure that all of your gardening supplies, lawn mower, hoses, and toys are picked up and put away. If left outside, these times could get covered in leaves and debris making it hard to see them when walking or playing in the yard.

Keep your family and your holiday celebrating protected this winter season by following these tips for outdoor landscaping. This is the time of year when people want to be spending time together having a nice meal – not sitting in the emergency room.