protecting your shrubs in winter

Some plants handle the winter better than others; therefore, some plants need extra care in the winter months to protect them from cold weather damage. By taking these precautions, you can keep trees and shrubs healthy during the winter so you can enjoy them in the spring and summer.

While evergreens will keep their color in the winter, their growth will slow. For this reason, they need care different from their other counterparts.

burlap on treesDrying winter winds are especially damaging to evergreens. While it may look a little awkward or out of place, those that are exposed to the winds need something to break the wind to prevent damage. Many wrap their trees and shrubs in things such as burlap or other materials. Wraps aren’t just used to keep out the wind though. If you have trees that are close to the road, the salt and brine can also cause damage to the trees. While you should certainly keep the trees trimmed back from the road, the wraps can also protect them from the chemicals. The additional benefit is that it also protects the plants from grazing animals.

Those that live in an area with a lot of trees know that during the winter ice and snow can be particularly damaging to trees. The limbs and branches can only bend so far under the weight of the weather before they break. While it can help to gently remove the snow when it falls, if there’s ice, you’re likely to do more damage to the tree, so it’s best just to let nature take its course at that point.

Just like any plants, they also need a regular supply of water. While the snow and later melted ice can keep them hydrated, during the times when it’s dry and windy, the plants will need regular irrigation as they continue to lose water through transpiration, especially since they don’t go dormant. Keep a close eye on them for weather related damage.  Broadleaf evergreens such as camellia and rhododendron will display yellow or orange discoloration of foliage, while needled evergreens will turn rust-hued or brown.

While there’s no way to completely protect your trees and shrubs from the cold, these tips can help reduce damage. Pretty soon the cold weather will be easing away, and it will be time to think about prepping for spring.

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