Many shrubs do not require any special treatment in the fall and winter, but those that do can benefit from some special care. With a little work and knowledge you can protect your shrubs to ensure their health and winter protection season after season. The following are easy ways to prepare your shrubs for winter and protect your investment.
Photo credit: claudiadaggett via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC
Wilt-pruf – Wilt-pruf is an anti-transpirant, this means it protects against moisture loss. A product that comes in both a read-to-use and easy to mix, its easy to protect your shrubs from winter kill and windburn. Broad leaved evergreens can benefit from an application in the fall as it must be sprayed when temperatures are above freezing so that it will dry on the leaves and not freeze. Ideal for use on: Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Hollies and Boxwood. Bonus – it can be used to make fresh cut christmas trees, wreaths and roping last longer for the holidays.
Deer Fencing – Deer can be pesky during the fall and winter by nibbling our ornamentals once food gets scarce. Protecting them with deer fencing can be necessary. Many black, plastic nettings are available to keep deer off shrubs, and most can be used for many years. Attaching the fencing to wooden or metal posts that surround the shrub is the best way to secure it. The most important thing to know is NOT TO PUT THE FENCING RIGHT AGAINST THE SHRUBS. The deer will push through the net and eat them anyways. The netting has to be at least 1′ AWAY from the shrubs and be pulled taught so they cannot push it. It also needs to be tall enough so that they cannot reach over it.
Burlap – Wrapping shrubs with burlap can keep shrubs from experiencing winter burn, but it can also deter deer and protect shrubs from other types of winter damage. Heavy snow and ice on shrubs can cause branches to break or die off. Creating a frame around individual shrubs or around rows of shrubs will give you something to secure the burlap to. You can also place a layer of burlap around the base of shrubs located next to the road to prevent salt burn from plow trucks.
Mulch – Protect the sensitive roots of newly planted shrubs, vines and perennials by applying a 2” layer of shredded wood mulch at the base of the plant. This will offer additional freeze protection and keep roots warmer longer to encourage new growth later in the season. Leaves packed around tender perennials can also work for this purpose.
Keeping things protected over the winter will ensure that your plants will get a head start in the spring and keep them beautiful for years to come. For minimal effort and a little planning ahead you can protect your landscaping investment easily. Call anytime or email us with questions regarding winter care – we are available all winter long.