Winter Tree Blog

Preparing Your Garden and Trees for Winter: A Tree Surgeon's Guide in the UK

Posted onSeptember 27, 2023

As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, it's time to start thinking about preparing your garden and trees for the harsh winter ahead. Winter can be a challenging time for both your garden and your trees, especially in the UK, where the weather can be unpredictable. To help you get ready for the season, we've gathered some valuable insights from Paul Horrocks, Teign Trees Senior Arborist on how to ensure your garden and trees thrive throughout the winter months.

1. Tree Inspection & Pruning

Before winter sets in, it's crucial to inspect your trees for any signs of damage or disease. Teign Trees have fully qualified QTRA inspectors who can help you identify potential issues and recommend necessary actions. Pruning is often a necessary step in tree care, as it removes dead or weak branches that could pose a hazard during winter storms. Proper pruning not only improves the health and appearance of your trees but also reduces the risk of falling limbs and damage to property.

2. Mulching

Mulching is an excellent practice to protect the roots of your trees and plants during winter. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or compost, around the base of your trees and in your garden beds. Mulch helps insulate the soil, keeping it warmer and preventing temperature fluctuations that can damage plant roots. Additionally, it helps retain moisture and suppresses weeds, making it a win-win for both your garden and trees.

3. Winter Watering

While it may seem counterintuitive, your trees and shrubs still need water during the winter months. In the UK, winter can be surprisingly dry, and frozen soil can make it challenging for plants to access moisture. On days when the ground is not frozen, be sure to water your trees and garden adequately. Deep watering is essential to ensure that the roots receive the moisture they need.

4. Protecting Young Trees

Young trees are more susceptible to winter damage, so it's crucial to provide them with extra care. Consider wrapping the trunks of young trees with tree guards or burlap to protect them from cold temperatures, frost, and animal damage. Staking may also be necessary to prevent the trees from swaying excessively during winter storms, which can weaken their roots.

5. Tree Support & Cabling

If you have mature trees with weak or damaged branches, consider installing support systems such as cabling and bracing. These systems help stabilize trees and prevent the risk of limb breakage during heavy snow or ice accumulation. A professional tree surgeon, such as myself or my colleagues at Teign Trees, can assess your trees and recommend the appropriate support measures.

6. Pest and Disease Control

Winter is an excellent time to address any existing pest or disease issues in your garden and trees. Some pests, like aphids and scale insects, become dormant during winter but can still cause damage. Teign Trees can diagnose and treat these issues to prevent them from resurging in the spring.

7. Snow and Ice Removal

In the South West, snow and ice are less common than in some other regions of the UK, but when they do occur, they can pose a threat to your trees. Heavy snow and ice accumulation can weigh down branches and lead to breakage. Safely remove snow and ice from your trees using a broom or soft brush, but be gentle to avoid causing further damage.


Preparing your garden and trees for winter is essential to ensure their health and vitality throughout the colder months. Consulting with a professional tree surgeon from Teign Trees and Landscapes SW Limited can provide valuable insights and expert guidance in caring for your trees. By following these tips and taking proactive measures, you can protect your garden and trees from winter's challenges and enjoy a thriving landscape come springtime. Remember, a well-maintained garden and healthy trees not only enhance your property's beauty but also contribute to the overall well-being of your environment.

Give our office a call on 01626 773499 to book your FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTE with one of our Fully Qualified Arborists for any of the above points.