4 Reasons to Wrap Your Trees & Shrubs Before Cold Weather Hits

Here at J&R Pierce Family Farm, I think it’s important to connect my readers with valuable insight from other master gardeners. Today’s post is a guest post brought to you by Archie Adams, a fellow writer and talented builder. 

At least once you have seen people wrapping trees and outdoor plants before winter arrives. Probably, you’ve wondered whether it’s necessary – and what does it mean?

In this text, we are going to explain the reasons why people are taking measures to protect their greenery during cold months.

wrapped trees and shrubs

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4 Reasons to Wrap Your Trees & Shrubs

wrapping shrubs and trees for winter
Photo: Pexels

The fact is there are a lot of plants out in nature that manage to survive each winter without special protection. Then, what’s the point in wrapping trees? Some people think plants feel cold, so this must be the way to keep them warmer. Others believe that it is only critical to protect newly planted trees from frost. 

However, none of this is entirely accurate.

First, plants do feel the cold but have thermoregulation abilities, which enable them to activate cold resistance. And second,  protecting newly planted trees and shrubs isn’t any more important than protecting those that have been there for some time. 

Winters can be harsh and cause severe damage to the health of our green leafy friends. And to avoid this and enjoy the beauty of our greenery again in spring, we need to take measures to protect these plants. Many dangers are caused by the wind, freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. We will discuss some of them in more detail. 

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1. Sunscald

This is actually a pretty unfortunate term because the sun doesn’t in any way cause injury to trees or any other plants, whether evergreen or not. What happens is that when it is sunny on cold winter days, the bark of the trees starts to heat up. Because of this, the newly growing tissue in the bark becomes active. 

But then, the temperature drops quickly after sunset, and it becomes icy again, and this literally kills this living tissue. When this happens, you notice large, dark spots on the bark of the tree. Young plants are the most at risk since they have a thin outer layer, but keep in mind that all trees and shrubs need protection from sunscald.

2. Frost

Sometimes you hear about prices of fruit going up because the sudden frost destroyed most of it. This usually happens in early spring when everything starts to blossom, the weather unexpectedly changes, and the freezing temperatures cause all the flowers to die. 

Extremely low temperatures in winter, for example, 10 degrees below 0 Celsius/15 degrees Fahrenheit can severely damage trees in general.  When it happens, you can see so-called frost cracks.

Plants don’t mind the wind, but when the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius/ 32 degrees Fahrenheit, cold wind makes the frost even more damaging. Furthermore, if the soil is frozen as well, plants cannot take the water to replace the moisture they lost. It is also important to say that frost can damage the roots of trees and shrubs.

3. Snow and Ice 

Snow, in general, is an excellent insulator for trees and protects them from frost. But, while a little snow is beneficial, a heavy load of it can cause branches to break.  

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If you are living in an area where shallow temperatures aren’t a rare occurrence, then you likely know what an ice storm can do to your plants. The branches can get entirely covered by thick layers of ice in a short time. This will cause them to bend and break.  

4. Animals

Animals have a harder time to find something nutritious to munch on during cold seasons, so your green plants will be a real treat. The primary culprits for this damage are rabbits and voles. If you are living in rural areas, it is also possible that deer will be your frequent visitors if you leave your plants unprotected. 


wrapping shrubs and trees for winter
Photo: Pexels

Wrapping trees, shrubs, and other plants in winter is essential if we want to keep our garden in good shape.

There isn’t anything more beautiful than spending evenings outside surrounded by beautiful greenery in spring and summer.

Plants give us so much over the year without asking anything in return. Taking measures to protect them in winter is the least we can do. 

Archie was a builder for more than 40 years. After his retirement, the enthusiastic electrician works in his garden and writes for a blog to keep himself occupied. His many years of experience can get you the right tool reviews whether it is a drill, welding machine or so. An impressive fact to note about him is that almost everything in his house is a representation of his skills made by his hands. 

There you have it! Everything you need to know about wrapping your trees and shrubs. Let us know your thoughts by chiming in below!

Want to learn more about farming and gardening? Be sure to take a look at these other articles.

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Author: Rebekah PierceI'm a writer and small farm owner, and lover of everything outdoors. I'm hoping to share my passion for farming, gardening, and homesteading with you on my blogging journey.

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