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Protecting Trees and Shrubs Against Winter Damage

  Posted on January 3, 2018


Ohio winters can be harsh. Trees and shrubs are threatened by cold temperatures that can burn leaves, wind that can dry out the trees, and snow that grows heavy which can cause branches and limbs to break. These can be prevented with the right planning and effort.

Protect your plants with burlap.

 Burlap is more effective than plastic because it allows the plants to breath and air to circulate which prevents heat from getting trapped. Burlap can be found at Lowes, Home Depot and craft stores. It is biodegradable and eco friendly. It can be purchased in fabric rolls, bags, or blankets. There are several ways to use the burlap to protect your trees or shrubs. You can use Stakes to set burlap as a windbreak or you can wrap the plants with the burlap then secure them with twine. 

Winter mulching for plant protection

Mulching is one of the best defenses against cold temperatures. Timing is everything, the best time is after the ground freezes and before the first snow. In Ohio that is usually in November. The goal of winer mulching is to keep the ground around your plants frozen so that the plants remain dormant. The thick layers of mulch protect the ground from the warmth of the sun Winter mulching helps conserve the water in the soil , so you should water plants until the first major frost. An important note is after applying the mulch three to four inches thick , pull some away from the trunks and stems of your plants so that they can breath.

Salt can damage plants in the winter

Salt can not only damage plants but it can kill them. Rock salt is a concentrated corrosive material that can also damage your driveway and burn your pets paws. You can reduce the damaging effects of salt by following these simple steps:

1. If you have plants near your driveway or walk ways dont use salt to melt the ice. There are alternative and eco-friendly products you can use such as sand, birdseed, gravel, and kitty litter.

2. Make sure to clear excess  snow and ice away from your plants. 

3. If you have trees or shrubs along your driveway or on the road, put up plastic snow fencing or burlap barriers to keep salt spray away from plants. When spring arrives, flush the soil with water to push away residual salt away from the plants roots.