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How to Wrap Evergreens for Winter

By Heidi Almond ; Updated September 21, 2017
Mature evergreens don't usually need winter protection.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Things You Will Need

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

Tips

  • Evergreens are tough trees that are generally well-suited to cold climates. They will usually only need winter protection when they are young and still getting established.
  • The proper placement of evergreens will help ensure winter survival. Avoid planting evergreens in open, sunny, south-facing locations. Instead, plant evergreens on the north side of your house.

About the Author

 

Heidi Almond 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. In 2002 Almond graduated cum laude from an environmental liberal arts college with a concentration in writing.