Essential Winter Landscaping Checklist

Your Essential Winter Landscaping Checklist

As the chill of winter sets in, now is the crucial time to learn and implement various techniques to safeguard your property from potential risks. Delve into your essential winter landscaping checklist to learn how to reduce damages, prevent costly repairs or replacements and ensure an easy transition from winter to spring.

TREE & SHRUB CARE

During the winter, numerous plants enter their dormancy phase, pausing their active growth to help survive the colder climate. While this dormancy phase is optimal for tending to trees and shrubs on your property, it’s also a great time to enhance the health and growth stages come spring.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

With the leaves finally gone, our certified Arborist can thoroughly access the health and wellness of your trees and shrubs. They’ll check for potential risks such as limb breakage, insect infestations, diseases, or future threats to your plants.

  • Improved Aesthetics
  • Supports Healthy Growth
  • Less Stress on Plants
  • Increased Flowering Blooms
  • Reduced Risk of Diseases

PREVENTING RISKS & DANGERS

Early January is an ideal time to prune away dead, dying, broken or diseased branches to reduce the risk of potential life-threatening dangers from occurring later on this winter. Pruning overgrown shrubs also reduces the chance of surprise encounters with wildlife or visitors, ensuring a secure and safe environment all winter long. You also can encourage your trees or shrubs to focus their energy over the winter and early spring on new growth instead of wasting energy on damaged or dying areas.

Another great way to protect your trees this winter is by capitalizing on our Anti-Desiccant Spray. This service acts as an added protective layer, similar to a winter coat, that assists in preventing moisture loss during the cold dormant months for your evergreens. This subtle wax-like spray shields against needle burn, harsh winds and reduces the risk of replacements in spring.

By caring for your trees and shrubs now, you can ensure your property remains safe and healthy throughout the winter season and into spring. 

SALT & FROST DAMAGES

The winter season holds many hidden risks to your landscaping surfaces, especially in the earlier portion of winter when temperatures still rise and fall spontaneously. The fluctuating temperatures can lead to ice melting and refreezing, causing your hard surfaces to rise and become an uneven tripping hazard. 

The formation of ice on your property isn’t only dangerous to your safety, but the health and safety of your plants and lawn. It is common to utilize de-icing materials, however, these de-icing materials, if not managed correctly, can cause significant damage to your plants and soil quality. By finding their way into your garden beds and lawn through shoveling, plowing, melting and even traveling via our boots, the risks of contamination from de-icing materials are highly likely. There is an easy solution to reduce the risk of spreading.

PREVENT DE-ICING CONTAMINATION

Landscapes Unlimited is a certified Minnesota Smart Salting operator, which means we’ve undergone comprehensive training to ensure effective operations while reducing the usage of de=icing materials, this allows us to minimize the impacts to our environment and infrastructure. This certification aligns with our dedication to responsible landscaping practices that prioritize both safe, effective, and environmental sustainability for our clients.

To apply some of these techniques to your property, we suggest using temporary barriers to assist in keeping de-icing mixtures away from your lawns and gardens. Consistently managing the removal of ice or snow from your property is another easy way to ensure your landscaping and hard surfaces remain healthy and intact come spring.

LU’S LESSONS: Storing your de-icing materials away from your plants or organic surfaces can greatly reduce the risk of the de-icing mixtures leaching into your soil.

HIDDEN DAMAGES OF SNOW PILES

Did you know that where you pile your snow can lead to disastrous risks to your property? Here are a few unique risks associated with where you pile your snow and the dangers they pose.

  • HARM TO SOIL | As mentioned above, the snow piles may contain de-icing materials or other harmful chemicals that can affect the health of your plants or lawn.
    SOLUTION | Always pile your snow away from organic surfaces to reduce the risk of de-icing substances leeching into your plants.
  • RUNOFF | Identify where your snow and ice runoff travels on your property to reduce the risk of hazardous ice and frost-heaving.
    SOLUTION | Direct runoff away from your landscaping or property’s hard surfaces through the use of sandbags or straw bales. to reduce your risk of damages occuring. You can also erect small burms, barriers or channels to control the direction of runoff.
  • PILED SNOW |  By continuously piling your property’s snow into one area, the weight of the piled snow compacts the soil underneath leading to several issues come springtime.
    SOLUTION | We always recommend spreading out the snow or having it hauled off your property to greatly reduce the risk of soil compaction or “salt burn” from happening to your property. 

WHAT IS SOIL COMPACTION & THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH IT:
Soil compaction is the process by which stress is applied to the soil and leads to reduced pore space between particles, which can lead to the following problems for your property:

  • Mold Occurring
  • Bare Spots in Grass or Turf
  • Damaged Root Systems
  • Restricted Movement of Nutrients
  • Increased Runoff or Flooding
  • Soil Erosion
  • Hindering the Growth and Development of Plant

WHAT IS “SALT BURN”?

Salt burn is the common phrase used to describe the brown or dead patches left in your lawn from the use of de-icing mixtures that have sat to long and leeched into the soil.

WINTER LANDSCAPING TAKEAWAYS

  •  Have your trees and shrubs evaluated by a certified Arborist when there are no leaves remaining
  • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged limbs to minimize dangers
  • Only prune your trees or shrubs when they have gone dormant
  • Spread out or haul away snow piles
  • Keep de-icing materials away from your plants and soil
  •  Be mindful of where water gathers and collects to avoid frost heaving ice damages
  • Control runoff to minimize soil containimation
  • Remove excess de-icing solutions frequently throughout winter

WHEN IN DOUBT…

Not sure what your property’s winter risks are? Contact Landscapes Unlimited for a through evaluation of your property. Upload pictures to ensure an accurate assessment.


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