Continue to plant bareroot deciduous hedging plants and trees. Stakes should be put in place before the rootball to avoid damage to the roots.
Move established deciduous trees and shrubs, provided the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.
Check tree ties and stakes on established plants. Replace, tighten or slacken them where necessary.
Firm back newly planted trees and shrubs if they have been lifted by frost heave or strong winds.
Packing the branches of tender deciduous trees and shrubs with straw or bracken, and securing this with fleece and ties, will protect them from frost. If there is snow in your area, then you may need to brush it off the branches of conifers, climbers and light-limbed shrubs and trees. Heavy snowfall can splay branches, break limbs and spoil the shape of the tree.
Pruning and renovation of many deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges can be carried out from now throughout the dormant season. It is easier to see what you are doing when the branches have no leaves. Suitable examples are: Fagus (beech), Corylus (hazel) and roses.
Ornamental vines, ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy can be cut back now – it’s a good idea to keep them away from windows, doors, gutters and roof tiles.
Pests & Diseases
Phytophthora root rots can cause dieback on mature trees and shrubs. Wet winter weather and poorly drained soils are likely to encourage this problem on susceptible woody plants.
Coral spot is often noticed once the leaves have fallen from deciduous hedges, shrubs and trees. This problem can be connected with poor ventilation and congested, un-pruned twiggy growth (as found inside clipped hedges).
Bracket fungus on trees is visible at this time of year.