Cold weather care for Trees and Shrubs: Anti-Desiccants and Winter Watering

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Did you know that the main cause of winter damage to evergreen trees and shrubs is through dessication, or drying out? Newly planted trees and shrubs which haven’t had time to root are much more susceptible to dry conditions regardless of the temperature. During the winter, plants continue to “pull” water from the soil via transpiration. When the ground freezes, roots are unable to take up any more water from the soil, so they quickly begin to use all the water stored in their leaves and stems. This is very damaging, particularly to evergreen trees and shrubs that don’t protect themselves by dropping their leaves in winter.

Winter Watering
Making sure you have a plan for watering trees and other plants throughout the winter is essential for plant health and to ensure a rich and thriving landscape when spring arrives. While irrigation systems often need to be winterized for cold months, consult with a landscape or irrigation professional to determine which plants need watering and how often to prevent winter damage or death.

What Are Anti-Desiccants?
Anti-desiccants are products that can be applied to evergreen trees and shrubs to help hold in moisture through the winter. They provide a protective coating to evergreen foliage which will reduce the amount of water that escapes. They are biodegradable and gradually wash and wear away over time, so by springtime they’re gone. They are most often used on broad leaf evergreens such as boxwoods, conifers such as arborvitae, yews, cedar, cypress, juniper and pine, and tender stems such as rose canes and hydrangea stems.

Anti-desiccants require careful application from a knowledgeable professional, so contact the experts at Lifescape for your winter water and plant health needs.