Cold winter months and high winds can play havoc with the health and wellness of many of your shrubs and evergreens. Here’s a few simple tips to keep your landscape staples safe and provide the care they need to flourish once again when the warm weather returns.
Water: Make sure all your evergreen trees and shrubs continue to be watered during a dry fall, and give them a good, thorough watering before the ground freezes. Evergreens don’t lose their leaves like deciduous plants do and need to store water for the winter to prevent them from drying out. Add a layer of mulch for added protection.
Damage: Snow on your shrubs is both good and bad – snow layered around the base can add extra insulation and protection – heavy snow on the branches can cause branches to bend and break. Gently remove any heavy snow buildup, starting at the bottom, to avoid damaging any weakened branches.
Coverage: Well-established evergreens are typically fine without being covered, but young, new plants may benefit from a burlap tent. Pound stakes into the ground around the plant and wrap the burlap around the stakes. This allows for good air circulation around the shrub, the ability to brush off heavy snow and provides protection from high winds that might hurt young branches.
Critter Protection: As the natural food source starts to dwindle, wildlife may turn to shrubs for sustenance. Protect possible targets with chicken wire, fences or barriers to make it difficult for wildlife to get to the plants. Alternatively, provide feeders for deer, squirrels and birds away from the shrubs – that way you are helping both plants and animals to survive the often far-too-long winter.