Do Trees Need to be Wrapped in the Winter?

The winter months bring out the rawest version of trees. They are exposed, bare and forced to survive in dry, harsh air, in bitter cold temperatures.

The question is – do they need help from you to keep warm? Is it necessary to cover trees to help them survive the often-harsh Kansas City winters?

Regardless of the types of trees in your yard, there are sometimes you should intervene and provide a bit of extra warmth. Keep reading to find out when to do this.

Do Trees Require Winter Protection?

Younger trees, or trees of all ages with thin bark, will benefit from protection in the winter. Why, you may wonder?

When the sun comes out on a cold day, it will warm up the tree’s bark. When this happens, the tissue under the bark will begin to “perk” up. However, when the sun disappears behind a cloud or building, the temperature of the bark is going to drop quickly, which can kill the tissue and leave the bark dry and cracked.

This is a condition referred to as sunscald. However, if you wrap your more delicate trees, you an help to protect them from this condition.

A similar situation can occur with evergreens during the wintertime. They will soak up the sun on a warmer winter day, but when things cool off once again, the foliage is going to become dry, and go from a pretty, fresh green, to an ugly brown.

What Should You Wrap Trees With?

This answer is dependent on the type of tree in question. For example, with a Japanese maple, the leaves come off in the fall, and the tree has thin bark. This means the best way for protecting the trunk is to wrap it in a plastic tree guard.

The same is true for any other thin barked tree, such as linden, sycamore, aspen, poplar or maple. The same goes for a newly planted tree that is going to lose its leaves. You should wrap its trunk from the base, and up until you reach the lowest branches to help and provide protection from cases of sunscald.

However, if you have an evergreen or an arborvitae with one of the issues mentioned below, then you need to use burlap to wrap it instead.

These conditions include:

  • One that is newly planted
  • A tree that’s weak for any reason
  • A dehydrated tree (one that didn’t receive much water in the fall)
  • One that is completely exposed to heavy or harsh wind

When you protect your trees during the winter months of the year, you can feel confident they will grow big and strong when spring comes again. If you aren’t sure how to do this on your own, then it may be in your best interest to reach out to the professionals. They can evaluate your trees and determine the best wrapping method to protect them from the harsh winter weather ahead.