Preparing Evergreens and Shade Trees for Winter
The bark on thin-barked trees can split in winter --
wrap the trunk of such trees to protect them.
- Wrap the trunk of thin-barked trees, most notably fruit trees, in winter to help keep the bark from splitting. Tree wraps and firmer plastic tree guards can also discourage rabbits and rodents from chewing on the bark and can prevent accidental damage from mowers.
Remove the tree wrap in the spring so it won't get too tight on the swelling trunk or provide a hiding place for pests.
- Help prepare evergreen trees for dry winter weather by watering them more in the fall, especially when rainfall has been limited. It's also helpful to spray leaves with an antitranspirant coating, which limits evaporation from the foliage.
- Don't plant salt-susceptible evergreens near the street in cold climates. Salt used for snow and ice control will splash up on the needles and drip into the soil. It won't be long before a thriving tree begins to brown out and then fail. Look for trees that can withstand salt spray. An example of a salt-susceptible evergreen is white pine. Some other possibilities include sycamore maple, shadblow, Austrian black pine, Japanese black pine, Red mulberry, and sour gum.
With judicious choices and proper care, the shade trees and evergreens that you plant today can enhance your home and your neighborhood for years and even decades to come.
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