Winter Plant Protection


Winter sun and wind can cause excessive transpiration (foliage water loss) while the roots are in frozen soil and unable to replace this lost water. This results in desiccation and browning of the plant tissue. There are several ways to minimize winter injury to evergreens. The first is proper placement of evergreens in the landscape. Plants that are susceptible to winter damage(Azalea, Taxus, Hemlock, Arborvitae etc.) should not be planted on south or southwest sides of buildings or in highly exposed (windy, sunny) places. Other ways are through barriers and anti-desiccant applications.

Protective Barrier

Winter injury can often be prevented by constructing a barrier of burlap or similar material on the south, southwest, and windward sides of evergreens. If a plant has shown injury on all sides, surround it with a barrier, but leave the top open to allow for some air and light penetration.

Anti-desiccant Application

Spray a thin coating of this clear liquid over the foliage to slow down the loss of water over the winter. Two applications works the best. One is applied in late fall and one in mid winter for best control.