How to Wrap Trees for Winter

Angi Staff
Written by Angi Staff
Updated January 23, 2012
a newly planted tree
Young or small trees may need some extra protection to help them survive the winter. (Photo courtesy of Angi member Alana A. of Murfreesboro, Tennesee)

A Washington D.C. tree service can help prepare your trees for winter.

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With the bitter cold of the winter season, many young or flimsy trees may be vulnerable to the low temperatures, icy winds, and falling snow. According to The Weather Channel, January is one of the coldest months of the year in Washington, D.C., with temperatures falling to an average low of 29 degrees.

Because these conditions can often cause serious damage to younger or smaller trees, experts suggest properly wrapping their trunks for winter to avoid exposure, in addition to preventing the invasion of small rodents and other animals.

Before winter reaches its lowest temperatures, follow these four steps and wrap your trees so they survive the winter weather.

1. When to wrap: Researchers at the University of Minnesota recommend wrapping your trees after the first hard freeze of the year, which usually occurs from late October to the end of November.

Homeowners should wrap trunks to prevent "sun scald," which is a term used to describe the splitting of the bark due to due exposure to higher temperatures immediately followed by freezing temperatures during the winter.

2. What to wrap with: To wrap your tree, you will want to collect commercial tree wrap made from corrugated paper or an alternative composition material. Avoid using materials like burlap or black plastic, since these materials aren't as effective.

Since most commercial wrap is two-sided, you should choose to have the white side facing outward to reflect excess heat from the tree. Start wrapping at the bottom of the trunk and aim for as close to the ground as possible.

3. How to wrap: Make sure to overlap your wrapping material as you make your way up the trunk. You should wrap until you hit the first structural branch at the top of the trunk.

It would also be beneficial to wrap around small branches on the tree to protect these more vulnerable portions from exposure. Once you have completely finished wrapping, secure the ends of the wrap with tape, and avoid using abrasive securing materials such as garden twist ties, wire or rope.

4. Removal tips: Remove the tree wrap as soon as the ground warms up in the spring to prevent trapped moisture and potential mold growth.

Not sure if your trees should be wrapped in time for winter? Check with a Washington, D.C., tree service. Angi features trusted reviews and local business information on more than 800 companies that offer tree service in the area. Join today to see which services have been highly rated by members in your neighborhood.

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