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Should Trees Get Wrapped For Winter Protection

In some climates, it is common practice to wrap trees to protect them from winter weather. In more temperate climates, it can be rare to see trees wrapped during the cold season.

There are many reasons why it may make sense to wrap trees as a form of protection. How important or necessary it is to wrap your trees can relate back to your local climate, the tree species, how healthy the tree itself may be, where it is planted and other critical factors.

In this article, learn about pros and cons to wrapping as a way of caring for trees during the cold season.

Tree Wrapping Based on Weather

Whether you live in a climate with more extreme or more temperate weather, there is no question that climate change is affecting every area in some way.

This can mean that formerly temperate areas are getting more temperature extremes while formerly extreme areas may be evening out from one season to the next.

If you live in the former type of area, your trees may benefit from wrapping if they are unused to very chilly conditions.

Tree Wrapping Based on Species

Some tree species are known to be more tolerant of cold weather, while other tree species seem to wilt at the first hint of a frost.

In the same way, some tree species are more moisture-tolerant during the rainy, icy, snowy winter weather, while others prefer or even need to stay dry to stay healthy.

The best way to decide whether to wrap your trees is to learn as much as you can about each tree species and how cold-hardy they may be.

Tree Wrapping Based on Location

Urban trees can deal with different types of challenges than rural trees. For example, in a planned community where houses and greenery are all clustered close together, there may be more inbuilt protection from wind chill and gusts during the winter.

But in rural areas, trees may be more exposed to the elements and more at risk of wind chill and frost damage, as well as damage from hungry wild animals. In this situation, wrapping can provide multi-purpose protection during the cold season.

Similarly, trees located near saltwater areas such as a marsh, bay or ocean can benefit from wrapping to protect them from the combined assault of salt, snow and ice. This can be particularly important when caring for trees such as evergreen varietals.

When to Refrain from Tree Wrapping

Just as there are times it can make great sense to wrap trees as a form of protection, so too are there times it is best not to apply any wrapping.

For instance, wrapping can readily attract unwelcome winter visitors such as rodents who may find a perfect winter nest inside the material.

Wrapping can also trap moisture and not all tree varietals will tolerate this well.

As well, in nearly all cases, tree wrapping reduces your home’s curb appeal. For this reason, if you are trying to sell your home, it may be best to leave your trees unwrapped unless weather conditions make this imperative.

In some cases, adding tree wrapping can increase temperature near the tree to the point where it can cause fungal infection, rot or even heat damage.