Winter is coming! How safe are your plants

Being the coldest season of the year, the winter can be hard on trees especially ones that are exposed, the young and newly planted. These types of plants are not fully established as they lack mature barks and extensive roots, making them susceptible to the wrath of the season. Texas, being an inland region, experiences one of the coldest winters especially when the arctic air breaks from Canada. It is therefore prudent for any farmer to take measures to protect trees in fall in preparation for the harsh winter period. You may have trees that have survived one winter season but the seasons vary so don’t stretch your luck too much.

One of the good ways of protecting your trees during winter is by wrapping which essentially prevents damage from sunscald, desiccating winds and the growing number of rodents such as mice during this season. Extremely dry or mild winter winds can dry out or even burn conifer needles and your evergreen foliage. Moreover, frozen soil can make it difficult for moisture lost during evaporation to be replaced. To prevent all these troubles and save your plants, whether young or slightly mature, you can opt for the steps below

1. Protecting your trees from desiccating winds

When you choose to cover your trees, it is significant to take into account the type of trees you want to protect. For instance, you should not wrap your evergreen trees like some Christmas present using burlap. This will only block and eliminate light and make the leaves pack too close to each other. If you do this, then you are most likely to breed diseases and spring can be too late to realize what damage you have caused.

For your evergreen plants, you can go for a buffer against direct sunshine and the winds such as burlap barriers which will ensure that your trees still get sunlight. Although some farmers may advise you to use anti-desiccants, you need to understand that they may hardly survive the winter season.

2. Protection from Sunscald

During the winters, the sun can hit up the bark of your trees to the point of stimulating cambial activity, and when hills, buildings or clouds block the sun, the temperature will then drop rapidly killing the active tissues. You can, therefore, wrap the tree using a Kraft paper or a hardware cloth to prevent extensive damage by the sun.

3. Rodent Damage

Voles and rabbits can damage your dreams during the winter. While voles can work on the trunks under the snow, rabbits will girdle the trunk and girdle branches. You, therefore, need to protect both your tree trunk as well as the branches. You can, therefore, cover or wrap the tree trunk with hardware cloth or a Kraft paper and spray the branches and leaves with repellents such as Plantskydd protecting the trees against rodents’ damage and sunscald.

Final thoughts

Taking precautions before the early cold spells of the winter can save your trees especially when they are not fully developed and are still vulnerable to extreme weather. Also, you have to be careful not to unwrap the trees as midwinter thaws can fool plants into breaking their dormancy too early as the next snap can easily kill the new growth. Before wrapping your plants, it is also essential to take note of the types of plants you have so that you don’t end up using the wrong method.

Tomar precauciones antes de los primeros fríos del invierno puede salvar a sus árboles, especialmente cuando no están completamente desarrollados y aún son vulnerables al clima extremo. Además, debes tener cuidado de no desenvolver los árboles, ya que los deshielos en pleno invierno pueden engañar a las plantas para que rompan su latencia demasiado pronto, ya que el siguiente brote puede matar fácilmente el nuevo crecimiento. Antes de envolver sus plantas, también es esencial tomar nota de los tipos de plantas que tiene para no terminar utilizando el método incorrecto.