Wrapping trees for winter
Paper or plastic?
Radio interview source: Sharon Morrisey, consumer horticulture agent, University of Wisconsin
We wrapped our newly planted trees last winter with a white plastic tube to keep deer and rabbits from eating the bark. The tree company told us to keep it on over the winter, and then remove it in the spring.
Sharon Morrisey is a horticulturist with the University of Wisconsin. She says using tubes or wrapping trees prevents sunscald, which is what happens when the bark of the tree warms up during the day and freezes at night.
"As it freezes, the water in the cells expands, and actually causes the bark to split, and so you get frost cracks," Morrisey says. "You can also have scald cause damage to the cambium layer -- that's the layer of cells directly under the bark, which is responsible for adding to the girth of the trunk."
Use tree wrap on trunks of newly planted and thin-barked trees such as linden, ash, and maple. We used plastic tubes on our trees, but you can try a thick, brown paper. Start wrapping the tree from the bottom.
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