Protect your plants for winter in late fall after the plants enter the dormant season and prior to the onset of harsh winter conditions. Wrapping and protecting woody and herbaceous plants will reduce damage from snow, ice, wind and foraging animals. The result is stronger spring plant growth. Begin winter maintenance by hydrating the plants in September to prevent foliage breakage during the winter.
Evergreen Wind Protection Wrap
Hammer three metal poles into the ground--using a rubber mallet--to make a half box (two sides of a box) shape around the tree.
Attach burlap or other heavy sheeting material to the poles creating two panels of protection. The burlap wind guard will prevent south and southwest wind damage.
Insert one additional pole to construct a square wind protection in wide-open areas where the wind is damaging in all directions.
Attach two sections of burlap to the metal poles to create a box around the tree.
Upright Evergreen Wrap
Wrap upright evergreen trees, such as arborvitae, with a strong cloth or nylon stocking to prevent ice and snow buildup damage.
Tie the leader branches together approximately two-thirds above the truck crotch. Hire a professional to cable large, multi-leader trees or those with large stems and wide spreading leaders.
Remove the wrap in early spring to give free movement of the tree stems and prevent girdling.
Wire Wrap Protection
Wrap a quarter-inch mesh wire around the truck of trees that may be damaged by chewing rodents or deer.
Wrap a chicken wire fence around shrubs that may sustain rodent or rabbit damage.
Dig the wire 2 to 3 inches into the ground to prevent burrowing rodent damage.
Check the fence periodically to make sure rabbits did not find their way through the fencing.
About this Author
Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.