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Although winter in Australia is more mild than other parts of the world, the cold season still presents unique challenges for some trees. From pest infestations to nutrient deficiencies, these issues can impact tree health and growth.

Here’s a look at some of the more common winter tree problems our trees face here in Australia as well as practical solutions for dealing with them.

1. Pest Infestations

Aussie Tree Solutions Pest Infestations

The onset of the colder months can exacerbate some pest problems. Aphids, psyllids and some scale insects thrive during winter, causing the tree stress.

You can manage pest infestation by:

  • Having regular inspections by your local Arborist
  • Pruning affected areas to remove infestation as well as diseased or dying limbs
  • Introducing natural predators such as ladybirds or lacewings, but only do so with the guidance of an Arborist
  • Use insecticidal treatments as a last resort and only as advised by a professional as they can be harmful to surrounding trees and plants

2. Nutrient Deficiencies

During winter, some trees can be more prone to nutrient deficiencies due to reduced nutrient uptake and soil activity. This can become evident with yellowing or discoloured leaves, leaf loss, poor growth and overall decline in health.

You can deal with nutrient deficiencies by:

  • Carrying out a soil test to check for specific nutrient deficiencies and fertilising accordingly
  • Adding organic matter to your garden such as mulch, manure or compost to improve nutrient availability and soil quality
  • Applying a slow-release fertiliser appropriate for your tree type to prepare for spring growth

3. Frost Damage

Aussie Tree Solutions Frost Damage

Depending on where you live and the conditions in Winter, frost can pose a problem for some trees. Frost can cause significant damage to certain tree types, especially those that aren’t adapted to cold climates. Frost damage can appear as damage to leaves, bark and buds and can lead to reduced growth, dieback and overall ill health.

To help protect your trees you can:

  • Apply mulch to the base of your trees to conserve soil warmth, regulate temperature and insulate roots
  • Use frost blankets or cloths to shield young and vulnerable trees during particularly cold periods
  • Make sure trees are properly watered before a frost. Soil that is moist will retain heat more effectively than soil that is dry

4. Root Rot

If you have poor soil drainage and your tree is exposed to prolonged periods of wet conditions, it can lead to root rot. Root rot can be highly detrimental to trees, making them weaker and more susceptible to issues.

To help prevent root rot you will need to improve drainage:

  • Aerate the soil around your trees to reduce waterlogging and improve drainage
  • Consider using raised garden beds or mounds for new plantings
  • Fungicides may be necessary in severe cases, but only use with professional guidance

5. Water Stress

Aussie Tree Solutions Water Stress

Water stress can still affect trees in winter. The combination of drying winds and reduced rainfall can deplete moisture in the soil and lead to dehydration.

To help prevent water stress:

  • Add a protective layer of mulch to help regulate soil temperature and retain moisture
  • Water deeply but less frequently to improve drought resistance and promote deep root growth. Do not overwater however – let the soil around the tree be your guide
  • Regularly inspect the soil around the tree to assess moisture levels and water accordingly

Work With A Professional

If you are at all unsure about how to best care for your trees this winter, take the hassle out of your tree care needs and ask a professional Arborist for help. They will be able to identify the tree species, what conditions it prefers and advise how to best take care of your tree.

For all your winter tree care and maintenance needs in Brisbane, speak to the team at Aussie Tree Solutions today. We’ve been taking care of South-East Qld trees for over forty years and offer a full range of services from pruning to stump grinding, mulch to tree removals and everything in between. So, whatever your tree issue, we’ve got the solution!

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