If you haven’t already done so now is the time to winterize your orchard trees. This is a great time to add a fresh layer of mulch around the base of the tree. Mulch a three foot diameter ring around the trunk of the tree at a minimum and make sure the mulch is not touching the bark of the tree. Remember, a mulch donut, not volcano, is what you want!
It is also important to protect the tree trunk. Trees with trunks that are less than 3″ in diameter should have tree wraps added to protect them from rodents, who like to gnaw on bark in the winter. Make sure to remove the trunk wraps when things start to green up in March or April so pest insects don’t have a place to hide from predators during the growing season. (We now have trunk wraps in our online store as well as additional tree supplies!)
If you are in an area with deer it can also be helpful to add a collar around the tree like the one shown in this video from The Giving Grove. This can protect your tree from rub damage which can kill trees.
This video also recommends painting latex paint on larger trees to protect them from sunscald. Although this can be helpful we have not found it vital in St. Louis. Our almost complete lack of snow and the fact that our winters tend to be very cloudy means sunscald has not been a serious issue for us, however if you notice issues or want to be extra careful the latex paint is a great way to avoid this issue.