Trees need special care as winter approaches. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Trees need special care as winter approaches. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

It’s not quite winter, though our recent weather might fool those of us living in Iowa.

The experts at Marion-based Trees Forever provide important information on how to care for your trees at this time of year, along with a Christmas tree guide to help you with that annual holiday tradition. Remember, the annual Trees Forever symposium: Our Woodland Legacy, is also coming up soon.

Read on for more from Trees Forever:

The harsh Midwest winter is quickly approaching and that means our trees need extra attention. Here are some quick tips on what you should do to protect your trees this coming season.

  1. It is important for trees to have sufficient water heading into the winter. You can water your trees until the ground freezes. Click on either this Iowa or Illinois link to see the soil temperatures in your area.
  2. Place an adequate layer of mulch around your trees. Remember the 3-3-3 rule: create a mulch ring at least 3 feet in diameter around the tree, 3 inches deep, and pulled back 3 inches from the trunk.
  3. Use white tubing or some other tree guard around the trunk of your young tree to protect from rodent and deer damage.
  4. Start assessing your young tree for winter pruning. What pruning cuts need to be made to establish strong scaffolding branches? Are there any that are crossing or rubbing? More information on proper pruning can be found at the Iowa State Forestry Extension website.

Christmas tree selection

Soon many families across the country will be making an annual trip to a local Christmas tree farm with a saw in one hand and rope in the other. As a renewable and recyclable resource, live Christmas trees are better for the environment than artificial trees. This holiday tradition employs over 100,000 people annually covering over 1,000,000 acres of tree farmland! Before you venture out to find the perfect tree, take a look at this guide for varieties and tree descriptions.