Tree care over the winter months

Tree care is a year-round job.

Neglecting the health of your trees during the long winter months is a sure-fire way to kill off their chances of healthy growth throughout the rest of the year. Winter tree care keeps your trees strong through winter, protects them from the tough conditions and sets them up with the best chances for success for those warmer months. 

In this guide, we will take you through the best strategies for taking care of your trees in Winter. We look at why Winter is a great time to get on top of tree maintenance, plus we explore the hidden benefits of taking action while everyone else is hibernating. 

The Winter Cut 

Winter is an ideal time to get on top of your trees’ pruning schedule. A regular pruning schedule is important for keeping your tree healthy, happy, vibrant and growing strong. However, many people neglect this task with the onset of the cold climate. Our arborists say that pruning during Winter actually has a number of advantages:

Precision Pruning

First of all, without all of the excess foliage, it is far easier to be precise and accurate when pruning. The absence of leaves allows for quicker identification of healthy branch structures, which enables a tree surgeon to better navigate the tree and determine which parts should be trimmed, lopped or left. 

Reduce Risk

Pruning and lopping during Winter reduce risk in two distinct ways. Firstly it removes dead and dying branches which pose a threat to safety during high winds or storms. Secondly, pruning during winter has less chance of attracting insects with disease, bacteria or fungi that can cause nightmares for your trees and plants. Therefore winter pruning can help to make you and your trees safer. 

Promote Growth

Trimming your trees during the coldest months of the year places less stress on the tree than at other times of the year. By getting on top of your tree care in Winter, the tree has time to recover and begin growing by the time the sun is out and spring is in bloom. In addition, pruning during winter can remove the shade from your property and enable more sunlight to reach the rest of your plants. This can help the rest of your garden to weather the cold and prepare for the prosperous months. 

The Cost of Frost

While there are a number of advantages to pruning during Winter, it’s also important to put in place strategies to protect your trees from the bitter cold. Our professional arborists have plenty of experience in protecting trees from the elements. Here are their top tips:

Protect the weak

If you have young saplings, delicate trees or potted plants, get them ready for the frost. Freezing temperatures can badly damage the shoots, leaves and core of your tree, affecting their ability to grow and fight off disease. Protect these by bringing them inside if you can, or by covering them to the ground with sheets/tarps that can trap the warmth during the night. 

Mulch

Mulching helps to regulate the moisture levels and temperature of the soil and your trees. Cover the base and roots of your trees with 5-10cm of fresh wood chip mulch to help them retain warmth even during the coldest parts of the month. 

Keep the fluids up

Keep watering your trees during winter, especially if there has been no rain. Young saplings should be watered every week or two while more mature trees should be watered every month or two. 

,

The Reality of Running a Tree Business

There are always lessons in business,” says Niko, “it takes time to up-skill yourself in any new business and it won’t happen overnight.” 

Niko Kurta is well-versed in the realities of work within the tree industry. He has been running Jim’s Tree & Stump Removal since 2012 and in that time he has helped the franchise to generate over 100,000 new leads. In this article we discover exactly what it takes to run a successful tree business. 

Getting Started

One of the very first decisions you will have to make when starting out is whether you create your own business or buy an existing one. The advantage of buying into an existing business is that you start with a platform to grow your business from. This is a result of the good will that comes from a mature brand with a good client list. 

“Business is so much easier if it has goodwill,” says Niko.

When buying into a franchise like Jim’s Trees, you have this same choice but with a stronger platform. You can buy a new franchise, giving you the opportunity to start your own business with the benefits of the Jim’s brand to give you public awareness and the Jim’s network for support. 

Alternatively, you can buy an existing franchise, which allows you to take on their client list. Generally the longer the business has been around, the better the quality of the clientele and the good will of the business within the community. 

Clients

Once you’ve decided whether to buy into an existing business or to start your own, you then have the core challenge of every tree business, clients. 

  • How do you acquire new clients? 
  • How do you keep them? 
  • Are they all worth keeping? 
  • How far should you travel to keep them? 
  • How do you keep them happy through winter? 

These questions must be considered and there are no simple answers. Instead, you’ll need to experiment, iterate and adapt. As a seasonal business, it is important to retain your clients through the low winter months. This is where prioritisation of clients can be important, as you will want to make sure your best clients are kept happy through summer so that they’ll be there for you in winter.  

Location

Tree businesses aren’t confined to any one location, which can be both a benefit and a challenge. 

“Distance is crucial, downtime needs to be taken into consideration,” says Niko. 

Being unrestricted to a single location poses challenges. Each council has different laws around tree maintenance and removal. As such, you will need to be familiar with a number of different variations of similar rules. 

Different suburbs also have different challenges in terms of demographics and accessibility. Some regions might have dense urban forests, but tight streets. Others may have demographics less inclined to pay for tree maintenance. The best way to plan for this is to do your research, familiarise yourself with the area and speak to local professionals familiar with the region. 

Expenses

Any business has to deal with expenses, a tree business is no different. It is essential to have a good team of employees who are happy and hardworking. To achieve this, staff wages and superannuation must be a priority. 

Travel time represents another large part of your business expenses. “Managing downtime is very crucial,” says Niko, “the more you travel, the less productivity in a day which will affect your bottom line.” 

The final component of your major expenses is equipment. 

Equipment maintenance is key to running any business with machinery and will serve you better for the long run,” says Niko. 

Your tools and your machinery are the foundation of your business. Premium tools that last a long time will always provide your business with more value than cheap tools that deteriorate quickly. 

Managing the business

Once you’ve set up your business, you then need the management skills to keep it running smoothly. 

Not everyone is cut out to run a business,” says Niko, “time management is key, but so is business management, staff management and customer service.” 

A successful business owner needs to be able to manage all of the areas we have discussed, while also having the humility to admit that you have more to learn. While not everyone is cut out to run a business, anyone can do it if they are willing to jump into the deep end, learn from their mistakes and persevere. 

Are you Ready?

Whether you are an existing Tree business looking to improve, a new startup looking to grow or you’re thinking about starting a new business – we would like to hear from you. You can contact us through our franchise enquiry page or call 131 546 to register your interest.

Do you need council approval to remove a tree?

When it comes to removing a tree on your private property within Australia, it is best to assume that you do need the permission of your local council. The specific tree protection laws and their requirements vary between councils. Despite this variety, most municipalities across the country require residents to apply for a permit before they can carry out significant tree works. Read more

Summer Garden & Tree Care 

The Australian summer can be a tough time for your plants and trees. There are many strategies to protect your garden through the hottest months, from mulching and irrigation, to pruning and health assessments. We have assembled the top 10 tips from professional arborists for keeping your garden looking great all summer long. Read more

,

Winter Garden and Tree Care

Proper garden and tree care can add value to you home by making it aesthetically pleasing and offering a safe and pleasant place to live. Pruning, if done properly, is one of the best ways to refresh a tired garden and encourage a flush of new life in spring. 

Of course, bigger jobs should always be left for your arborist but there’s plenty of smaller pruning jobs lower to the ground that can be done in the meantime to keep your garden looking beautiful.  Read more

Contactless tree removal service by Jim’s Trees

Tree removal and maintenance services have been classified as essential by the government during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic due to their role in keeping the community safe and the environment healthy.

Arborists play a crucial role in protecting us from the risks associated with dead, damaged and dying trees. Trees that are neglected can quickly become fall-hazards for nearby residents, passing pedestrians, traffic and wildlife. It’s important that even during this chaotic time, we maintain our trees to ensure our communities remain safe. Read more

,

Get a feel for Fungi

Recent rainfalls have transformed many parched landscapes into seas of green, and flora and fauna are flourishing once more. This is also a time when weird looking fungi rises up, seemingly from nowhere, before mysteriously disappearing. Read more

,

Will your trees be long-lived? 

You could say that cleaning up the yard on the weekend is part of our Australian culture. Every weekend, out comes the lawnmower, whipper snipper, along with herbicides to kill off any offending weeds. Yes, the lawn looks great, but have we thought about what damage we may be causing to the trees?

Read more

,

Are my trees a fire hazard?

My brief was to write about fire mitigation. So what better place to begin, I decided, than to organise a fire fuel inspection on my own property. Looking out from our cabin, perched on the edge of a crisp dry 10 acre block of natural bushland, my next thought was – why haven’t I done this before? 

Read more

Tree Permits
,

The Changing World of Arboriculture

The 2019 Arboriculture Conference was held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre, situated at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges. The event is organised by Arboriculture Australia, the national body representative, and this year saw 320 attendees from all facets of the industry. Local, national and international arborists from public, private and government sectors including researchers, consultants, contractors, nurserymen and landscape architects came together to the learn the latest from industry experts. Read more