Winter Frost Damage to Plants

Evergreens are brave. They have the mettle to try to endure the winter's extremes. Deciduous trees timidly drop their leaves in autumn, when the weather starts to cool. Evergreens, though, provide green scenery and oxygen through the coldest, most inhospitable months of the year.

While we huddle inside, drinking hot chocolate and insisting that nature come to us in those months – daring to go out rarely – trees have no respite from the cold, drying winter winds and deep freeze temperatures. But we can help them!

Broadleaf evergreens (hollies, laurels, flowering plants, azaleas, rhododendrons) are more susceptible to winter damage from freezing winds than needle- or scale-leaf evergreens, such as pines or cypresses. Winter winds are extremely drying, and broadleaf evergreens planted in areas exposed to heavy winter winds get hit the hardest. When the ground is frozen, trees cannot draw up new water and must rely on what they stored in the autumn. Newly planted evergreens with underdeveloped root systems are the most vulnerable.

There are two ways to help protect evergreens from winter damage. The first is watering the trees generously in the fall, so that the ground is well-saturated and the trees have a chance to absorb all the water they can before the ground freezes. The second is applying an anti-desiccant to the leaves of the trees. An anti-desiccant coats all the surfaces which lose water when exposed to wind with a thin, latex-based protective layer to lock in moisture and slow the rate at which water is evaporated from the leaves in the winter months. This greatly improves the resistance of broadleaf evergreens to the frost burn effects of winter winds. Anti-desiccants are clear, not harmful to the plants, and affordable to apply. They are a particularly helpful solution when trying to get young plants established in their landscape when they have not had enough time to root adequately before the winter.

At Monster Tree Service, we can help you insure the healthy winterization of your evergreens to help you maintain healthy, beautiful and safe trees. Call anytime so our professional arborists can help you develop a plan to protect the value of your home.

Monster Tree Service; Making the World a More Beautiful Place - One Tree at a Time.™