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When you’ve planted a new tree, it’s important to protect it from the harsh elements of winter. Before winter comes, it’s a good idea to wrap your trees with a plastic tree guard or burlap, depending on the type of tree.  Evergreens benefit the most from wrapped in burlap, while thin barked trees, like maples and sycamores, do best with plastic tree wrap.

Trees with thin bark should be wrapped to protect them from sunscald.  Sunscald occurs in winter when the sun warms the tree’s bark. When the sun disappears, the temperature drops rapidly, causing the bark to dry and crack.  Evergreen trees can get sunscald, too, when their needles turn brown.

You should wrap your tree in burlap or plastic if:

  • They are a newly planted tree
  • Weak for any reason
  • Fully exposed to harsh winds
  • Dehydrated

Once spring has sprung, it’s time to remove the wrap.  Leaving the tree wrap on too long can be an invitation for pests, disease, and serious damage to your tree.  Typically, it’s best to leave the wrap up from November until April. If the last winter frost has hit, it’s safe to remove the wrap around your tree, even if it’s not April yet.  Use new wraps each season to protect your tree.

While wrapping your trees in the winter is important, it’s also important to make sure to remove the wrap in a timely manner.