Monday, November 17, 2014

Don't Forget to Wrap

The Denver area has well over two hundred sunny to partly sunny days all year with few complaints by anyone living here. But our low angle sunny, winters along with warm days and cold nights can be tough on young trees, especially the thin-barked ones including oak, maple, linden, honey locust and fruit trees. Here’s what happens…during warmer winter days the tree cells warm up on the south and southwest side of the tree.  At night when temperatures cool or drop below freezing the cells are killed and tree tissue can be damaged.  This repeated cycle is what can cause damage or sunscald to a young tree. Sunscald can first appear as discolored, sunken bark, later the bark may crack or split or simply fall off in pieces.  This can do harm to a trees future health and its ability to ward off disease and insects. 

By wrapping trees in November you will be  protecting them from sunlight and preventing sunscald.

Use a wrap or paper specifically designed for trees, it’s available at your local garden center or nursery.  Start wrapping at the base of the tree, overlapping 33% with each turn, that way there aren’t gaps which can cause it to sag and fall away during the winter.  Wrap up to the lowest branches of the tree.  Secure the top with flexible ties or tape, just don’t attach the tape to the actual tree bark.  

Remove the wrap next April, keeping it on longer than that may harbor insects, disease or possibly girdle the tree. 

Sunscald is usually not a problems for trees planted on the east or north side of buildings or close to north facing fences. No need to wrap evergreen trees. Remind yourself to wrap your trees right after Halloween before Thanksgiving, then remove it in April or around Easter. 

And that’s a wrap; check out my tree wrap video if you wish, I’m new to being on camera so I hope to improve as I go!!

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