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Wintery scene with red berries hanging from a tree

Landscaping in Winter??

Yes! Of course! Your landscape and garden should be enjoyed in all four seasons – even if one of those seasons might seem cold and bleak. The area you call your own can – and should! – relieve those winter blahs.

Wisconsin winters can bring to mind many a descriptive word or phrase – frigid, bleak, unbearable, frozen (the tundra thing…), just darn cold, etc. The landscape in which we live can help to ease some of that winter stress. If yours does not yet do that, then now – Winter – is the time to plan to make a change. Work now on your landscape plan. Whether you enlist one of our landscape architects or designers, consult our plantspeople, or go it alone (probably with internet help) – begin now the process of rearranging, renovating, or remodeling your landscape garden.

“Birds are the flowers of our winter landscape.” Thomas Wirth, Landscape Architect

Does your landscape invite and encourage birds and other wildlife to make your space their winter home? Now is a good time to think about the trees, shrubs, and structures around you and whether they make an appealing place for these friends. The space does not need to be a feeding station (bird feeders, squirrel feeders, etc.), although that is fine too!

Also, consider plantings or structures that provide resources for wildlife;

  • Food sources such as seeds, nuts, berries, etc.
  • Cover from overhanging limbs or thick evergreens
  • Perhaps a water feature that will become a water source for wildlife throughout the year - Nesting areas with shelter

Some plantings for wildlife that you might consider:

  • Oak
  • American Beech
  • White Pine
  • Serviceberry
  • Spruce
  • Viburnum
  • Winterberry
  • Chokeberry
Image of Winterberry

Winterberry

Image of Chokeberry in Winter

Chokeberry

“The architecture of a tree is the foundation of the landscape.” Unknown

Look for the plant that shows more than Spring flowers or more than Fall color. Look for multi-season interest – including Winter interest. Here are a few:

Paperbark Maple – Acer griseum
Excellent specimen Maple. Not an overpowering size at 20-25ft tall and 15-20ft wide Interesting leaf structure. Amazing, exfoliating bark – cinnamon in color. Hard to beat for year-round appeal!

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Paperbark Maple

Musclewood – Carpinus caroliniana
Also known as American Hornbeam. Native to Wisconsin so tough, rugged and beautiful.

A small hardwood tree – approximately 25ft, both tall and wide. Incredibly interesting bark that, over time, exhibits smooth ripples reminiscent of muscles. A favorite of mine due to its hardiness, size, bark interest and wildlife interest (flowers, seeds, etc.) And a decent fall color!

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Musclewood

Other great Winter interest options:

  • River Birch – interesting bark
  • Chokeberry – berries persist into Winter
  • Pagoda Dogwood – branching structure
  • Hawthorne – branching structure
  • Serviceberry – so many reasons!
  • Viburnum – so many reasons!!
  • Paperbark Maple
  • Musclewood

Do not let Winter blahs get to you! Look outside. Go outside. Be part of your landscape! And if your landscape is not yet Winter worthy – contact us! We can help make it so.

TAT
Todd Trueblood
Tree Geek

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W2484 County Rd KK Appleton, WI 54915

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Schmalz Custom Landscaping & Garden Center, Inc.

Schmalz is located just two miles east of Highway 441 on KK in Appleton.

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