Winter Burn Protection

Winter burn injury is leaf damage caused by cold winds that dry out the leaves of evergreens. Urban Tree Service offers the products needed that can reduce this injury when used properly. The products create a barrier over the pores in the leaves which allows the plant to breath but reduces water loss through transpiration (daily leaf sweating). Anti-desiccants are not only used when transplanting trees and shrubs but also to prolong the freshness of live foliage decorations like Christmas trees and wreathes.

Winter burn injury can take place whenever the soil freezes and wintery winds blow drawing moisture from leaves. Plant roots cannot uptake water from frozen soil to replace the losses experienced in the leaves. The longer these conditions exist, the more moisture is lost and death of leaf tissue results. Plants that hold their leaves (evergreens) over the winter are vulnerable, broadleaf types are more susceptible than the needle type evergreens due to the larger surface area of their leaves.

The location of plants in the landscape is an important consideration when deciding whether or not to apply an anti-desiccant. Windy sites are obviously more prone to this type of damage than protected locations. Soil moisture is also a factor.

To prevent winter burn injury Urban Tree Service can apply an anti-desiccant in late December and again in late January. One late fall application is not enough. Generally these products are applied to the foliage as a liquid. The second application is usually more difficult because it must be done within this temperature range “window of opportunity” to be effective but here at Urban Tree Service our arborists can ensure this will get done properly.