23 December 2009

Consider wrapping your evergreens in burlap

Those of us who live "up north" often assume that trees are metabolically dormant in the winter, but under certain conditions they can become active - to their ultimate detriment.
In the tree care industry this browning, called "winter burn" or "winter scorch," occurs when evergreens start to photosynthesize on warm, sunny days, but then lose too much moisture and dry out.

On warm, sunny days, when light is reflecting off snow and light-colored buildings, a shielding of burlap can keep wimpy evergreens from photosynthesizing, said Jeff Gillman, associate professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota. "Burlap essentially acts as a sun umbrella, because once your tree heats up, its pores will begin to lose moisture, and then you're on your way to winter scorch."
More details about whether to wrap your trees at the Star Tribune, whence the photo (credit Tom Sweeney).

1 comment:

  1. On a particularly windy and cold day, you can wet the burlap. If it freezes, it will produce a nice walled area in which the plants won't desiccate.
    Bales of pinestraw might be easier- that's what I've done in the past.


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