Protecting Your Shrubs and Trees From Winter Cold and Snow

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Last month, we discussed some essential late fall landscaping tasks to help prepare for winter. This month, we’ll go into greater detail on one of those important tasks – protecting your shrubs and trees.

While your shrubs and trees rest during the cold winter months, they are exposed to potential damage from animals, wind, cold, snow, ice and even snow plows. Let’s take a look at which plants are most at risk and what you can do to protect your investment.

Protecting Evergreens

Harsh weather, dripping ice and snow from gutters, snow pushed from snow plows, and salt from sanders can cause your evergreens to brown and branches to break this winter. Both older, hardened trees as well as new evergreens can be affected. A simple burlap wrap around your hedges and shrubs can help protect them all winter.

Be sure to place stakes in the ground several inches from your shrubs to wrap the burlap around each plant or hedge. Placing the burlap wrap directly to the shrub or hedge can add unnecessary weight and stress to the evergreens. Reusable canvas bags can also be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot to cover individual shrubs. Burlap and canvas should be removed in the spring as soon as the weather begins to warm up and the threat of ice and snow is no longer in the forecast.

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

Plants that lose their leaves in the fall are called deciduous. Fallen leaves is a sign that your trees and plants have gone dormant for the winter. Although they have basically prepared for winter on their own, there are a few things you can do to help ensure their health over the long winter.


If you have any transplanted or new trees or shrubs, be sure their shallow roots are watered through the fall. These plants can be watered until the ground freezes. If you’re unsure about which plants to water or how much water is necessary, please call our office. Overwatering can be as dangerous to your plantings as underwatering.

Tree Trunks

Just a few simple steps can help protect young tree bark this winter. Apply wire or plastic tree guards this fall to prevent hungry mice and rabbits from eating the bark. This simple, inexpensive fix can be purchased online or at a local garden center. You can also protect tender bark from the frost cracks associated with sunscald with paper tree wrap. This can happen when dark-colored bark is warmed by the sun and rapidly cools as temperatures drop into the night.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re unsure or even overwhelmed at the idea protecting your landscape this winter, we can help. Call our office today at 973.209.4306 with any questions or to have us install shrub and hedge wraps this winter. As always if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below.


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