wrapping tree wrap around sapling in late fall

Winterizing new evergreens and trees

Wrap new trees (saplings)

We recommend new trees are wrapped with a protective tree wrap or vinyl guards end of October to help protect against sun scald and frost crack. If you tree does experience winter damage it’s not necessarily terminal for the tree but can increase chances of disease and insect damage. The wrap can also help deter animal damage during winter.

Wrap up to the first tier of branches coming out of the truck and slightly overlap the wrap as you go up the tree.

Remove the wrap in spring after freezing temps have passed because you don’t want to trap moisture and heat when it warms up. There are wraps that state they can be used all year-round so read packages before keeping on all year. This should be continued every year until the bark begins to thicken and roughen.

The following trees have higher chances of winter damage if not wrapped due to their thin bark when saplings.

Apple, Beech, Crabapple, Elm, Horse Chestnut, Linden, Oak, Walnut, and Willow.

Guard your evergreens against the harsh winter weather (and animal damage!)

We love the addition of evergreens to almost any yard. The year-round texture, color and refuge for wildlife is something you can’t replicate with other trees. Plus they look great covered in fresh snow and holiday lights.

The same winter weather and snow that contrasts nicely with our beautiful green and picturesque evergreens can actually do damage to them. Here are tips to protect yours, designed to guard against the drying and damaging affects of winter.

The last two tips are included for those of you who may have experienced damage in previous years and/or added new evergreens.

1. Water thoroughly until freeze.

Keep your evergreens well hydrated throughout the year. Continue to provide ample moisture through October and possibly part of November until the ground freezes. Read our Guide to Watering if you need a refresher.

2. Mulch

Surround evergreens with a fresh layer of insulating mulch to regulate the soil temperature and seal in moisture. Once the ground freezes, the roots cannot replace lost water, and sun and wind can deplete it from the foliage, a double whammy for your evergreens.

3. Spray with Wilt Stop®

Evergreen leaves have more surface from which to lose water, so they are more susceptible to winter desiccation (drying). This can be prevented with an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt Stop that helps to seal in moisture and protect your broad and narrow-leafed evergreens.

Wilt Stop is it is natural and non-toxic— made from the resin of pine trees—and it forms a soft, clear and flexible barrier over foliage to prevent your evergreen from drying out.

4. Create a barrier against wind with burlap ( this can also help with animal damage ).

If the evergreens are planted on the south or southwest side of your home, they may be getting the worst of the winter winds and scalding winter sun, a stressful combination for our evergreens.

Post sturdy metal or wooden stakes at an angle around the evergreen trees, then wrap with burlap, making sure to keep the top open for light and air flow. The natural, porous fiber of the burlap or similar fabric allows some wind to pass through, making it resilient enough to withstand the wind, but minimizing the strongest, coldest gusts from reaching your evergreen. This can also minimize the accumulation of large amounts of drifting, damaging snow. When the snow starts to accumulate in the winter it helps keep rabbits from being up to sneak under and munch on your plant when they are wanting to start eating anything they can find. Use of animal repellents is also recommended if you have a large number of animals around your home.

5. Buddy-tie your evergreen branches.

This is the same philosophy that is used when we buddy-tape a weaker, sprained or broken finger to a stronger one for support.

Many evergreens and other trees have multiple leaders, or two dominant branches. On their own, they can be more susceptible to breakage from heavy snow and ice at the point just above the crotch of the tree or the area where the trunk branches into two.

By joining the two leaders approximately halfway up from the weak crotch area, you give them stability and strength. You can use strips of strong cloth (the rest of your burlap) or nylon stockings for the bind. Remove them before spring growth to allow movement and prevent girdling.

shrub lot display in july

TOP 5 TIPS for Summer-Planted Landscape Plants

Spring and fall planting has the least amount stressors for new trees, shrubs and perennials IF we have mild weather, and rain. Planting in the summer, with the peak sun, searing heat, and drying winds are just added stressors to new plants but it doesn’t mean you can’t plant. With a few extra precautions you can make it work and your plants will do fine!

1.MOST IMPORTANT! – WATERING

Proper watering is vital to the plants survival. Proper watering doesn’t mean watering everyday. At least 1″ of water a week spring through fall season is the recommended amount. Frequency will vary in the type of soil you have. In clay soils, infrequent yet thorough deep watering is needed. This is because the water doesn’t percolate quickly through the soil. However in a sandy soil, water percolates easily. This requires lower volume and more frequent watering.

A slow stream of hose water for 5 min-10 min should give you a deep thorough watering of trees and shrubs. We like to use one 5 gallon bucket every week to two weeks, with 1/8th holes drilled in to slowly drip.

Perennials should be watered every 3-7 days depending on soil type and weather.

Check the soil regularly by pushing your finger a couple inches into the soil before you water, EACH TIME. You can also insert a screwdriver into the soil and if it’s easily penetrated, the soil is moist. If the soil is moist, wait to water. Remember, even drought tolerant plants need a couple of years to fully mature and need deep thorough watering. Searing heat and windy days can require you to water more often as well since your plants are losing more moisture.

2. PROPER PLANTING TECHNIQUE

Make sure to follow our planting guide (See image below) on the back of our Winter Hardiness Warranty Slip that comes with all trees and shrubs. Mix in compost and slow release fertilizer with beneficial fungi, bacteria, and nutrients, like Bio-Tone, into your native soil to help get your newly planted shrubs, trees, and perennials off to a strong start!
shrub and tree planting-guide

3. MULCHING

Use 2-3 inches of mulch around your plants to help retain water and keep soil cool during hot and dry days. Mulch around the root zone and keep the mulch 2-3 inches away from the stem of the plant.

4.READ THE LEAVES

Summer-planted plants may wilt regularly if you are under-watering or from heat stress. More water sensitive plants, especially new perennials with shallow root systems, will tell you if they need more water. If there is slight wilting during the day yet they have moist soil, they may be succumbing to heat/light stress if no other signs of pests or disease are present. If they are still wilting after the sun is going down, they are most likely under-watered if the soil is dry or the roots have already been stressed from over-watering. The best method to quickly learn how much water you plant needs is to check it regularly. You’re plant will start establishing it’s roots and watering frequency may decrease.

5. PLANTING TIME

Planting on a cloudy day is also less stressful for them. If the cloudy day is followed by a day or two of rain, all the better! You can also plant in the evening, deeply water, and that give it half a day before it gets blasted with the summer sun.

We also made a video of planting a shrub for how to properly plant a landscape plant.

During extreme heat, wind, and sun weather, you can watch this next video for some tips.