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Preventing Winter Burn



Winter’s extreme temperatures can damage many broadleaf evergreens such as holly, rhododendron, azalea and euonymus. This damage is caused by drying winds and frozen ground, which deprives plants of their natural moisture intake.

 

WHAT IS WINTERBURN?

Most winter plants will get some leaf-browning/discoloration/spotting due to moisture loss. This is the result of a temperature/water imbalance. Plants transpire water through their foliage. As moisture leaves the plant, the roots take in water to replenish it. During the winter, plants go dormant, neither taking in water nor transpiring it. In the late winter/early spring, however, leaves begin to transpire sporadically. If the ground is still frozen, the roots cannot replace the moisture loss as readily, resulting in damage to the plant



HOW CAN WINTERBURN BE PREVENTED?

To minimize winter burn damage, apply Wilt-Pruf in December, first when temperatures fall below 50 degrees and again in mid-winter. Wilt-Pruf, a natural product derived from pine tree resin, acts as a protective coating, holding in moisture on plant foliage and stems and substantially reducing water loss during periods of plant stress. Some shrubs may also benefit from a burlap barrier, either on stakes surrounding the plant or loosely tied to the shrub.

WHAT ABOUT HOLIDAY GREENS?

Treating holiday greens with Wilt-Pruf will keep them fresh for the entire season.  Be sure to allow Wilt-Pruf treated greens to dry outdoors in daylight before bringing your greens indoors.