Attentive gardeners can’t help but worry as the cold winter approaches. Each year, the chilly temperatures take their toll on the usually lush and vibrant evergreens. Evergreen leaves and needles often succumb to the terrible fate of winter burn, which is caused by a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. The evergreen needles and leaves dry out and die because their roots can’t draw enough water from the frozen soil. Freezing winds and spray from road salt can also take a toll. Winter burn can be so severe that the plant will die and need to be replaced entirely. However, you can protect the beautiful evergreens by visiting a local nursery in Fargo, ND and preparing the plants before the first freeze of the season hits:
- Use Wilt-Pruf:
An anti-transpirant like Wilt-Pruf will help protect plants from drying out while under winter stress. Wilt-Pruf is a biodegradable and non-hazardous spray that forms a transparent protective coating around the plant. This won’t interfere with the growth or the photosynthesis process. Not only is Wilt-Pruf great for winter protection, but it can also help during the summer season when transplanting shrubs from one spot to another. Your local nursery in Fargo, ND may have this product available.
- Water longer:
The roots can’t absorb water from the frozen soil, resulting in winter burn. Give plants enough hydration ahead of time by watering them well into late fall. The root system will ideally absorb this water and use it to stay hydrated throughout the winter season.
Place a solid layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots from severe fluctuations in soil temperature and to reduce water loss. The layer should be approximately two to four inches thick along the base of the evergreen and out to the drip line.
- Chicken wire:
Evergreens are very vulnerable to rabbits. During the winter, rabbits will feed on the shrub as an alternative food source. Excessive feeding can permanently destroy the plant. Install chicken wire around the plant. Make sure the fencing material is tall enough that the rabbit can’t climb over it. Anchor the wire by burying the bottom of the material at least two inches underground.
- Burlap around shrubs:
Think of burlap as functioning like a jacket for your evergreen. This is a relatively simple way to protect the plant from winter burn. The fabric allows the air to circulate enough that the plant can breathe without trapping heat. Simply drape a double layer of burlap over the plant before securing it with three or four stakes around the bottom of the plant.
Preparing now will prevent winter burn once the cold temperatures hit. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to call S & S Landscaping Co. Inc. Our family-owned and operated company carries all the necessary supplies to protect your evergreens and other plants from the harsh effects of winter, including Wilt-Pruf. Stop by our showroom and nursery in Fargo, ND today to start shopping!