How to Prevent Winter Burn: A Guide for Tree Care

Winter Burn on Arborvitae Shrub

How to Prevent Winter Burn

Winter burn is a common problem for evergreens, including Green Giant Arborvitae, during the cold months. It occurs when plants lose more water from their leaves than they can absorb from the frozen ground, leading to browning or desiccation of foliage. Here are steps to prevent winter burn:

1. Water Adequately in Fall:

Ensure your plants are well-watered in the fall, leading up to the first freeze. This helps them enter winter with adequate moisture, reducing the risk of dehydration.

2. Mulching:

Apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plants. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keeps the roots insulated from fluctuating temperatures.

3. Use Anti-Desiccants:

Anti-desiccants are sprays that provide a protective coating to reduce moisture loss from the leaves. Apply them in late fall (when temperatures are above freezing but before the onset of winter) according to the product instructions.

4. Windbreaks:

If your area experiences strong winter winds, consider setting up temporary windbreaks to protect sensitive plants. Burlap screens are effective in shielding plants from drying winds.

5. Choose the Right Location:

Plant evergreens in locations where they are less exposed to harsh winter winds and intense winter sun, both of which can contribute to winter burn.

6. Avoid Salt Damage:

If you use de-icing salts on nearby surfaces, be aware that salt runoff can harm plants. Use plant-friendly alternatives or create a barrier to protect your plants from salt spray.

7. Pruning:

Avoid late summer or fall pruning, as this can stimulate new growth that is more susceptible to winter burn.

8. Regular Monitoring:

Keep an eye on your plants throughout the winter and early spring. If you notice signs of winter burn, provide extra care as soon as the weather permits.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of winter burn and help ensure that your Green Giant Arborvitae and other evergreens stay healthy and vibrant through the colder months. For more information, or to buy Green Giant Arborvitae, contact Rolling Fields Tree Farm.