How to Protect Your Evergreens and Shrubs from Winter Winds

November 23, 2020 |

There’s a chill in the air in the Hudson Valley region of Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, NJ. These cold winter winds will dry out your evergreens and shrubs.

Fortunately, you can protect your evergreen trees and shrubs from desiccating (dry) winds.

Protecting Your Evergreen Trees and Shrubs from Winter Damage

Winter burn affects evergreens when these three elements are in play:

  1. Low or no soil moisture
  1. Temperatures 32ºF or below
  1. Heavy winter winds.

Your evergreens can suffer winter injury that could lead to their damage or death. Here are the various forms of winter injury:

  • Desiccation injury – This happens when the needles dry up and fall off. Anti-desiccating spray protects your broadleaf evergreens from drying out during the winter.
  • Low-temperature injury – This occurs when temperatures cause ice crystals to form on your evergreens. Wrapping your evergreens protects the leaves and needles from low-temperature damage.
  • Frost heaving – This happens when there’s a freeze/thaw during the winter and early spring. The roots heave out of the soil on warm, sunny days. However, when temperatures dip below freezing at night, the plant roots are exposed, which could lead to killing the plant. Mulch helps to stop frost heaving.

You can tell when your evergreens have winter burn because their needles turn yellow or a yellow-red. You’ll also see that this discoloration will continue throughout the entire evergreen tree until all the needles turn yellow.

The yellow needles should signal to you that your affected evergreens need water ASAP, or your tree will die.

Read more: How to Keep Deer and Other Wildlife Out of Your NY/NJ Landscape

You can prevent this yellow discoloration when you water your evergreens well and often in the fall. Adding mulch also keeps the moisture in the soil while regulating soil temperature.

How to Protect Your Evergreens from Winter Damage

A local landscape maintenance company can visit your home to add landscape products that will protect your evergreens from winter damage. Here are four landscaping materials to protect your evergreens this winter:

  1. Burlap wrapping – A landscape crew will wrap your evergreens trees and shrubs, such as arborvitae, with burlap to protect them from dry winter winds. Burlap wrapping prevents evergreen needles from drying out.

Wrapping your arborvitae and boxwoods will also retain the shrubs’ shape over the winter.

  1. Anti-desiccant or anti-transpirant sprays – Your hedges and other evergreens are in danger of losing moisture through their leaves and needles—drying them out and potentially harming the tree. An anti-desiccant or anti-transpirant spray, which forms a waxy coating, protects your exposed evergreens from drying out.
  2. Branch Tying – Some small and young trees need their branches tied to prevent breaking off during a winter storm. It also protects your ornamental trees from having heavy snow lay on them—eventually damaging the branches and the tree.

Read more: Why You Need a Certified Arborist to Prune Your Trees before the Storm

  1. Mulching – If you want to avoid frost heave and hold in moisture during the winter, then your evergreen trees and shrubs need mulch. It’s a good idea to put mulch around your flowerbeds and under ornamental trees for the winter too.

Mulch regulates soil temperature, holds in moisture, and provides an additional nutrient source as the mulch breaks down.

Don’t forget that rodents and rabbits will eat the bark of evergreens and ornamental trees. Tree wrapping protects the trunks of evergreens and trees from animals gnawing on the bark and opening them up to disease.

You Can Trust Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape with All of Your Evergreen Winter Protection Needs

At Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, we’re a full-service landscape company. We’ll visit your home to wrap your trees and add anti-desiccant sprays to your evergreens.

We also provide mulch installation services, so your landscaped beds and trees have an extra source of moisture and nutrition over the winter.

Call us today at (845) 708-2988 for Rockland County, NY properties and (201) 788-7191 for Bergen County, NJ properties to make your appointment to protect your evergreens from winter damage.

You can also fill out our contact form, and someone from our office will respond to you shortly.

At Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape, we serve the following cities in Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, NJ: New City, Nyack, Stony Point, Montebello, and Park Ridge.


UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County, “Chilling Injury, Frost, and Freeze Injury: What’s the Difference?