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Tree Talk - Metropolitan Forestry Services

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December 1, 2023

Evergreens Need Water in the Winter!

The garden beds may be tucked in for the winter, but don’t dismiss the one crucial winter task to reduce stress on your evergreens: watering.

Evergreen plants – including boxwoods, arborvitaes, spruces, pines, azaleas, laurels, southern magnolias, and hollies – continue to photosynthesize throughout the winter. During transpiration and respiration, their leaves expend water. As the dry air wicks away more moisture than the plant’s roots can take up, the leaves turn reddish or brown around the edges and branches can die back. This is known as winter burn. In severe cases, it can kill the plant.

To decrease the chance for winter burn, water your evergreens. Between the months of November through February, check the soil when the air temperatures rise above 40°. If the soil is powdery or dry a few inches deep, slowly soak the soil around the plants for 15-30 minutes. Mulching will also decrease evaporation from the soil and keep the harsh cold from permeating to the topmost roots. We can apply anti-desiccant sprays, a waxy coating that safely helps decrease evaporation.

When spring emerges, your evergreens will have a healthy start to support lush new foliage and budding flowers.

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Our goal is to provide you with the best possible service. If you are not satisfied with any treatment or completed job, we will resolve the situation to your satisfaction. We want to do our utmost to ensure your trees and shrubs are always 'green and growing'.