Hawthorn Woods and the rest of Chicagoland experience cold temperatures, snow cover, ice storms, and frigid winds during the winter. You and your family can huddle up indoors with a cup of cocoa and a blanket, but what about your landscape? How do you protect your trees, shrubs, plants, and turf from the harsh elements? McGinty Bros., Inc. has a plan for winterizing your landscape. Our winterization services will help you enjoy beautiful, healthy lawns and trees on your residential or commercial landscape all year long.
Winter Creates Problems in Your Landscape
What can go wrong during the winter on an unprotected landscape? The damage can be unhealthy and costly, including:
- Brown leaves on your plants from freezing winds
- Fungal issues on your lawn
- Broken branches from heavy loads of snow
- Property damage from fallen branches
- Broken shrubbery
- Plants eaten by deer
What Winterization Services Does McGinty Bros. Offer?
To keep your landscape safe and healthy over the long, cold, snowy winter, we offer these premium services:
- Tree trimming
- Tree pruning
- Tree fertilizer treatments
- Lawn fertilizer treatments
Let’s look into these services, and learn why they are important winterization practices.
Tree Trimming and Pruning
The best time to prune a tree is during the late fall and early winter. Pruning helps guide the growth of the tree, so they look their best and remain healthy. Sometimes, there are too many branches, so we prune the tree to improve the branch structure. We also look for dead or dying branches and remove them as well. Dead branches may fall down under heavy snow weight, creating a safety risk. It’s a good idea to get them off and leave more space for the healthy branches.
The dormant season is also a good time to trim trees. In fact, American Elm trees and Oak trees can only be trimmed during the winter. Trimming helps keep the shape of your tree looking uniform, but it is also done for safety reasons. When your tree is growing too close to your structures or power lines, we come in and trim them to prevent fallen branches and physical damage.
Our tree care experts will come over and determine if your trees can benefit from fertilization before the winter season. Giving trees proper nutrients before the snow covers the ground helps ensure better growth and health in the spring.
Part of our winterization plans include lawn care. We apply a fertilizer in the fall that is rich in potassium, which helps the turf stay healthy over the winter. When the ground freezes and thaws, the fertilizer works itself naturally into the soil.
What Else Can You Do to Winterize Your Landscape?
There are many ways you can help protect your landscape. Consider the following tips as you prepare your outdoor spaces for winter.
Winterization Begins with a Thoughtful Landscape Design
If you are in the process of creating a new landscape or refreshing your old landscape, think about snow removal. You will appreciate the forethought later.
- Leave plenty of space at the end of the driveway to push snow into.
- Leave space along the sides of the driveway for snow storage.
- Do not place obstacles right next to the driveway.
Protect Your Outdoor Structures and Walkways
The deep freezes of winter and the spring thaws are rough on patios, decks, arbors, and walkways. Structures made of wood will naturally absorb water if they are not sealed. The water inside the cracks of wood will freeze and create bigger cracks. Protect your wooden structures by painting them or sealing them with a watertight sealant. Look for cracks in your pavers, asphalt walkways, or concrete. Filling those cracks helps prevent further damage from freezing and thawing.
Irrigation Systems and Water Features are Susceptible to Winter Damage
Give your irrigation system a final blowout in the fall, effectively removing all the water in the pipes. Leaving water in the sprinkler system could result in expensive damage when the water freezes and bursts the pipes.
Swimming pools should also be drained and protected from the winter weather. Ponds are better off when they are partially-drained. Outdoor pipes, such as those in an outdoor kitchen, should also be drained and winterized.
Prepare Your Plants for Cold, Snow, and Ice
The best way to keep plants over winter is to use native plants that are already adapted to the different seasons. However, there are certain preparations you can use to keep your more delicate plants safe. Shrubs can be wrapped in a breathable fabric, such as burlap. You can also protect shrubs by spraying them with an anti-desiccant to make the branches stronger and less likely to dry out. Evergreens are more likely to need special protection than deciduous shrubs and trees. Do you have a hedge of shrubs? Instead of wrapping each shrub individually, determine which side of the hedge needs the most protection from winter winds, and then create a windbreak with a long length of fabric.
If your property is exposed to strong winds coming off open areas, like a lake or field, you may need a snow fence to create a snowbank that will stop the blowing snow from covering up the more delicate aspects of your landscape.
Deer can be a major problem in Hawthorn Woods and surrounding areas. To keep deer from destroying your plants, apply deer netting, a fence, or a deer repellent spray.
If you have brittle branches beneath your eaves, you may need to protect those branches from snow overload. You can build wooden structures, like teepees, over the plants or shrubs to allow the snow to slide around the fragile plants instead of falling down onto the branches.
Clean Up Your Lawn
A lawn that is covered in leaf litter will be more likely to harbor fungi, insects, and pests. Rake up the leaves, so that doesn’t happen. Remove fallen tree nuts, such as acorns, which embed themselves into the lawn over the winter.
Trust McGinty Bros., Inc. to Winterize Your Hawthorn Woods Lawn and Landscape
We are a locally-owned and operated company. We completely understand the winters in this neighborhood. Our extensive experience makes us experts on how to prepare your lawn and landscape for the long, harsh winters, year after year. Take care of your investment by hiring professionals. We make it our job to ensure your lawn, plants, trees, and shrubs are as ready as they can be for wind, snow, ice, and thaws.
If you would like to know more about winterization plans, please contact us. We’ll set up an appointment for a free evaluation of your residential or commercial landscape. Your landscape deserves to be in good hands all year long.