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Tree Talk - Metropolitan Forestry Services

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January 23, 2020

Winter Burn and Evergreens

Evergreens commonly suffer from winter burn.  Because they retain their foliage throughout the winter months, they continue to lose moisture through transpiration. Browning or bleaching of foliage due to desiccation occurs when the wind picks up suddenly during cold snaps. Roots cannot replenish water if the soil lacks moisture or is frozen.

USDA Forest Service – North Central Research Station

What you can do:

  • Mulch 2-4” deep around trees
  • Water evergreens once or twice during the winter months (Nov-Feb) when air temps are 40° and above
  • Where applicable, erect a burlap windbreak to protect smaller evergreen trees and shrubs
  • Apply an anti-desiccant 1-2 times between November to February to minimize moisture loss
  • Monitor moisture content in spring to ensure adequate amount of moisture is available to your evergreens
  • Fertilize to promote new growth
  • Prune out dead branches after new growth starts
  • Remove any dead plants

Call us if you need help with winter plant protection!

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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'.