It’s Time to Winterize Shrubs, Trees, and Perennials – Here’s What to Recommend

Winter Winterizing Tips

The seasons are changing and the weather is cooling, meaning it’s time to winterize shrubs, trees, and perennials. Your clients should begin preparing their landscapes for the tumultuous weather ahead so next year, a fresh, clean start welcomes them into the spring season.

First, you’ll want to recommend your clients determine their plant hardiness zone before beginning. This number represents the highest and lowest temperatures a region is expected to see. For example, Massachusetts has a plant hardiness zone number of between 5a and 7a, as the temperature fluctuates. Although the state doesn’t often go below negative twenty, it’s not out of the question, so plant hardiness must be considered based on these extreme temperatures.

Once you help them determine their plant hardiness zone, you can see if their plant and tree varieties can withstand their region’s winter. If they might have trouble, there are a few things you can recommend to help them survive.


Winter Water Management

One of the most important aspects to consider when winterizing a landscape is water management. NutriRoot is an excellent solution to recommend, and it provides many additional benefits as well. NutriRoot is a unique blend of ingredients that helps roots grow, holds moisture in the soil, and supports soil biology.

Your clients can simply mix NutriRoot into a watering can and saturate the soil around their divided perennials, transplanted trees and shrubs, bulbs, and lawns. Using this solution in the fall helps plants absorb the water and nutrients they need to avoid winter injury and damage.

NutriRoot also gives soil a boost as earthworms and microbes continue to process the organic material in the soil. Before winter hits, gardeners should discard diseased plant material, add new mulch, and water their landscape with NutriRoot to ensure they are starting with top quality soil next season.

After the first frost you may also consider suggesting your clients stop watering and blow out their irrigation systems. As plants and trees start hardening off excess soil moisture could be damaging when the ground freezes.


More Winterizing Tips

There are a few additional steps you’ll want to recommend to ensure your clients’ landscapes and gardens are ready to withstand the winter:


  1. Divide. 

    If you are making recommendations for winterizing a garden, your clients may want to divide certain species. We suggest taking this step first before following any of our other tips.

  2. Don’t fertilize in late fall.

    If your clients give their plants a dose of food late in the season, the plants will attempt new vegetative growth. This new, tender growth won’t have the time to harden or mature before the first frost, and the plant may become damaged.

  3. Amend the soil.

    NutriRoot will help amend the soil for both trees and gardens. You may also want to recommend adding organic matter like compost, manure, or earthworm castings to insulate and add nutrition.

  4. Prune and protect.

    Recommend your clients cut back their plants and trees (depending on the species) to minimize damage from wind and frost. They should also prune any suckers and dead branches.

  5. Clean up debris.

    By removing debris on the ground next to the tree or plant, your clients will reduce the chance of pathogens like fungi, bacteria, or soil borne diseases.

  6. Mulch and insulate.

    For gardens, you should recommend adding a good 4 to 6 inches of mulch as an insulating barrier. When the sun begins to break through again in the spring, plants may be tricked into becoming active early, and this insulation keeps plants from freezing after ingesting water.

  7. Put up wind barriers or windbreaks.

    This is ideal for small trees or shrubs that can’t protect themselves. Suggest driving four stakes into the ground for support and using burlap or another permeable material to make a box over the plant. Your clients may also want to consider using an anti-desiccant on their trees and shrubs to help hold in moisture through the winter.


For more information on NutriRoot and other winterizing solutions, visit us online. Join the conversation at our horticulture community site, The Dirt on Dirt, or across our Arborjet and The Dirt on Dirt social media channels.