Cold temperatures, ice, snow, salt, and hungry animals are winter’s worst offenders for damage to your trees and shrubs. Protect the landscaping on your property. Follow these steps to wrap trees, especially if they are young or fragile, and keep them healthy in harsh weather.
Why Wrap Trees in Winter?
Oddly enough, we don’t wrap trees in winter to keep them warm. The wrapping actually protects them from a condition called sunscald. Temperatures in winter fluctuate from day to night, as the sun shines and sets. The delicate layer underneath the bark of a newly planted tree expands and contracts as the temperature changes, causing it to separate and crack. Sometimes, the damage occurs over several seasons. Hardier trees handle extreme temperatures better.
Symptoms of Sunscald
Sunscald is usually found on the south or southwest side of a tree trunk. Dried and cracked, these vertical patches of dead bark are sunken and discolored. Sometimes bark flakes off to expose the layer beneath. Wrap trees that are most susceptible to sunscald such as young, newly planted, or thin-barked trees like maple, birch, walnut, crab apple, and ash. Arborvitae, a type of coniferous tree, also benefits from protection.
How to Wrap Trees
There’s a wide variety of materials used to wrap trees. Plastic, burlap, thick paper, and other materials are sold at most home improvement stores. Some materials made especially for protecting trees have two sides. Keep the lighter side facing out in order to deflect sun and heat.
To wrap, begin at the trunk bottom, burying the end of the material in the soil. Overlap the material as you wrap upward. (Wrapping downward may leave gaps where water or moisture can enter.) Once you reach the lower branches, secure the wrap with tape or twine.
Not only is the tree safe from sunscald, but it’s now better protected from hungry animals and strong winds! Carefully remove the wrap material when the ground warms up in spring.
The wrapping process must be done properly, otherwise moisture gets in and causes damage to the tree. If you are uncertain how to wrap trees or which trees would benefit from extra protection, call an expert. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at 866-373-3777 and let us help your landscaping weather any storm.