Protect Your Shrubs in Winter

January 26, 2022 9:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Your house’s landscaping can be one of its most attractive assets. A tidy outside appearance will really help to transform a house into a home. You’ve likely invested a considerable amount of time and effort into your yard, patio, beds and plantings, and you want to protect this investment.

This is why it’s so important to care for them year-round, not just in the warmer months. The frosty winds starting in November can be particularly troublesome for your plantings, so read on for more tips on how to protect your shrubs in winter.

Risks to shrubs in winter

It’s first important to understand exactly what you’re risking if you don’t enact protections for your shrubs in winter months. Cold damage can vary in its effects, but it can really take a toll on smaller landscaping plants especially. Persistent winds in winter can easily dry out your plants, for starters—especially your evergreens. Furthermore, when we get a big ice storm, the sheer weight of the frozen water resting on your plant can cause branches to snap, especially smaller, more vulnerable ones.

Oddly, snow is actually one of your best friends when it comes to protecting your plants. It acts as a natural insulator, so a plant covered in snow is more protected from wind and freezing temperatures than one that isn’t.

Risks to roots

Plans for protections for your shrubs in winter months are not limited to the branches, leaves and flowering portions of the plant. Winter weather can also wreak havoc on the vital root systems; freezing temperatures will kill exposed roots in short order. Fortunately, soil temperatures are usually quite a bit higher than air temperatures, but there are still steps that you should take.

Your best bet is to cover the base and roots of the plant with at least a few inches of mulch to act as an insulator. If it’s a new shrub that you just planted, make sure that all of the soil is consistent and closed—a rupture in the soil from putting the shrub back into the planting hole can allow cold and ice to penetrate down to the vulnerable roots.

Other steps to take

Most of our other tips on how to protect your shrubs in winter revolve around preventing damage from snow. First of all, it’s usually a good idea to wrap your smaller shrubs together if possible; carpet or nylon stockings can work best. This will help them support each other and reduce the risk of weighted branches cracking.

Next you want to practice good pruning throughout the year, stopping in August so that you don’t accidentally prompt new growth. Pruning makes sure you’re thinning the herd, i.e., getting rid of weak branches that will snap in winter anyway and leave the plant vulnerable to disease or mold.

Preparing some commonsense protections for your shrubs in the winter months is a great way to ensure that the spring gardening season is full of beauty and fun. If you’d like to enact such preparations by pruning your plants and trees before the weather gets cold next year, then give our team at BBD Tree Service a call today.

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