How to Wrap Evergreens for Winter

Overview

The foliage of evergreens adds some welcome color to an otherwise bleak winter landscape, but the green leaves and needles of newly planted evergreens can become dried out or damaged by the cold temperatures and heavy snow of winter. Wrapping evergreens tightly in burlap may make the problem worse, since the dry fabric wicks moisture away from the plant. Instead, build a burlap barrier to block the wind. Some people wrap evergreens in the winter to protect them from hungry deer or rabbits, but a better solution is applying a spray animal repellent around the tree.

Step 1

Prepare your evergreen trees for winter by watering them well throughout the fall and applying a few inches of mulch around the base of the trees to help retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature. Leave some space around the trunk so that the bark of the tree can breathe.

Step 2

Determine which sides of the evergreen need protection. The sunniest side of the tree will endure the harshest temperature fluctuations in the winter. Gardeners in North America will want to protect the south and west sides of their evergreens. If your evergreen is in an unsheltered location, it may also be subject to wind damage. North winds are usually the coldest and the harshest. Newly planted evergreens may need protection on all sides for their first winter.

Step 3

Hammer wooden stakes or fence posts into the ground around your evergreen. You will need three stakes arranged in a triangle to protect two sides of the tree, and four stakes arranged in a square to protect three or four sides of the tree.

Step 4

Stretch a piece of burlap around the stakes and cut to fit. You can find burlap at garden centers and fabric stores. You may also be able to get free burlap bags from grocery stores or coffee roasters.

Step 5

Attach the burlap to the wooden stakes with a staple gun. For metal fence posts, poke wire through the burlap and bend the wire around the post.

Step 6

Disassemble the burlap barrier in the spring as the temperatures start to warm up.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Wooden stakes or fence posts
  • Rubber mallet
  • Burlap
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Wire or twine

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Protecting Trees and Shrubs Against Winter Damage
  • Renegade Gardener: Don't Wrap Evergreens in Burlap for Winter Protection
Keywords: wrap evergreens, burlap wrap, winter garden preparation, burlap barrier

About this Author

Sonya Welter worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn., including "Zenith City News," for which she writes a regular outdoors column. She graduated cum laude in 2002 from Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college.