Sunday, December 10, 2017

Protecting Trees and Shrubs

Plants can be protected with wind screen or cages stuffed mulch, straw or leaves. Plants susceptible to branch break from heavy snow need special help. Tying branches together with heavy twine can be effective. For small plants, structures allow good air flow while preventing crushing snow loads from building up.

If you have tightly wrapped your plants in burlap or plastic to protect from breakage from wind, heavy snow or road salt, undo it now! Wrapped plants can suffer heat stress on warm days, and become a cozy home for bark gnawing rodents. Wrap them instead in plastic “chicken wire” style fencing. The plastic is nearly invisible to you but thwarts the dining deer, keeps branches from damage from heavy snow loads, and allows the cold air to flow through your plants making life less comfy for rodents and wintering insects.

For plants near roads where they may be doused by road chemicals, set up a burlap barrier to stop the damage. And, in the spring, remove the soil cover under affected plants and replace it with fresh, clean (salt-free) mulch.

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