Prepare Trees For Temperature Drops

Many areas of the country are looking at falling temperatures and drastically changing temperatures.

While not as big a temp drop as in the 1983 - 1984 freeze, there is potential for ring shake damage to the lower 2 feet of trunks on Live Oak, Crepe Myrtle and some Red Oaks, where the outer / inner bark separates from the trunk.

When the rising / climbing sun hits the lower trunk, that is frozen... ring shakes can happen, mostly on the NorthEast, East, SouthEast, and South sides.

Preventive measures for your trees include wrapping blankets, burlap, insulation batts, etc., on the lower 3-4 feet of the trunk(s) and be sure that ROOT FLARES are also covered. Any means to keep the sun from hitting the lower trunks and root flares during a deep freeze.

If next week or so, you find ring shake damage, DO NOT pull off the bark. Cover the area with black garbage bag (double layer), then with burlap.

Severe cases might warrant same covering, but to pull the bark down with nylon ratchet straps and wood 1x2 cabinet stiles over the plastic / burlap. see diagram

By doing so, the medulary rays will soon fill/cover damaged areas.. IF, NOT EXPOSED TO SUNLIGHT! mid-to late spring. Then, remove the hardware and coverings to inspect.


published here as a public service, all information and rights by G. Sandy Rose

G. Sandy Rose, ASCA#214
Registered Consulting Arborist
Shade Masters, Inc.

Tree Care Freezing Weather
Posted in Agronomy Notes.