After spending hours outside getting your garden and yard ready for the winter, you can finally sit back, relax, and let Mother Nature take over for the winter. However, you may have wondered during the labor of preparing your yard why you actually need to go through the winterization process. Here’s a quick run-through of what really goes on beneath the surface.

Everything Goes Dormant

All deciduous trees and plants (those that lose their leaves in the Fall) will go dormant in order to conserve energy. These types of plants use the spring and summer months to store nutrients to prepare for colder weather, while evergreen trees will still conduct photosynthesis, but at a much slower rate during those cold Rhode Island winter months.

Water Scarcity

Colder temperatures mean frozen water — and that is an issue for plants. Frozen water makes it difficult to draw water up into trunks or stems. However, a blanket of snow will actually insulate the ground, reducing freezes and allowing water to stay in liquid form. Plants that are dormant for the winter need less water. Deciduous trees will lose water rapidly if they don’t shed their leaves in time, while conifers have a thick, waxy coat on their needles to prevent water loss.

Plant Shapes

Did you know that the shape of a tree or plant will either help or hinder it during the winter months? This is why landscape contractors will always be sure to trim or cut back the stems and leaves of any annual plant that goes dormant during the winter. Not winterizing your garden could lead to irreversible damage; many plants have inflexible stems that snow can easily snap. Conifer trees, however, were meant for harsh winters. Their branches point downwards in order to shrug off any accumulating snowfall.

Things to Consider

Talk to your professional local landscaping company about what types of plants and trees are good for a Rhode Island climate. It is also a good idea to call a landscaping contractor to make sure your garden is appropriately prepared for the winter. For any winterization needs, contact us at Premier Landscape!