How Does Your Landscape Prepare For Winter?

Last Updated: 12/01/2022
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Winter is a harsh season for plants. Thankfully, nature has equipped the greenery in your yard with many tools they need to survive this tough season. This doesn’t mean that your trees won’t need a little help to make it through the colder months. Knowing how to take care of your trees and shrubs during the colder months can make it so much easier for your landscape to bounce back when spring rolls around.

Tree branches covered in snow

Types of Plants In Your Yard

During the summer, when there is warmer weather and ample water supply, the plants in your yard are busy making, storing food and growing. When winter weather approaches, the days become shorter, and water is not as abundant. To adapt to this climate change, different plants have developed methods to conserve water and energy by subsisting on food collected and stored during the summer months.


Plants, referred to as annuals, complete their growth cycle during the summer and start to fade and die in the fall. During the colder months, their seeds remain dormant, waiting to sprout when springtime comes.


Perennials are plants that live for more than two years, including deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants with soft, fleshy stems. Many of these plants survive the cold by sacrificing leaves or stalks, while their roots or bulbs remain safely nestled underground, protected from the cold weather.

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees, such as elms, oaks, and maples, shed their leaves during the fall to prepare for the colder winter. By shedding their leaves in fall, these trees retain enough energy to survive the freezing temperatures.

Evergreen Trees

Unlike deciduous trees, evergreen trees retain their leaves throughout winter. Evergreens possess distinctive leaves that are resistant to cold temperatures and moisture loss. Evergreens such as pines and firs have long, thin needles for leaves, while holly trees have broad leaves with a rigid, waxy surface.

How To Prepare Your Landscape For Winter

While all of the plants in your yard have developed some way to prepare themselves for winter, there are a few ways you can help them:

  1. Trim wilted portions of perennials after the first frost.
  2. Wrap shrubs like roses and tree peonies with burlap or paper.
  3. Create winter mulch using a mixture of garden soil and compost, and spread a 2- to 3-inch coat of the mixture around the base of your plants after the first freeze.
  4. Dig up delicate plants and tubers. Let them dry out after digging, and then store them in a crate or terracotta pot in shavings or sawdust.
  5. Remove dead branches and prune large trees. Limbs could fall down during a windstorm or due to the weight of the snow and cause damage to your home or property.
  6. Provide your trees and shrubs with a deep root feeding. This will provide the nutrients needed to endure winters elements.
  7. Apply a wax coat treatment. This application will prevent damage from ice, wind, and freezing temperatures (plus provide an instant boost in appearance!)

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Seek Professional Tree Care

To ensure that your trees and shrubs successfully withstand the winter months and flourish in spring, it may be worth considering professional lawn care. When it comes to helping you maintain your landscape, Blades of Green has you covered. Our highly-trained lawn care technicians can help you get your landscape ready for the freezing winter weather and provide the year-round care your landscape needs to thrive.

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