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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Winter Preparations for Plants

Oct 30, 2019 02:56PM ● By Maureen Cary
Winter Preparations for Plants
by David Jones

While New England winters can take a toll on plants, there are some steps that can be taken by homeowners to make the severities of winter less damaging to their plants and homes.
Cold, harsh winds can literally suck the life-giving sap out of plants, especially evergreen trees by a process of transpiration. Although many plants, shrubs and trees appear as if they are completely dormant, their sap is still flowing year-round, albeit at a slower rate in the winter. The warm sap evaporates into the cold, wind-driven air and can cause the tree to lose its stores of energy. If this happens, trees can be lost, or they may suffer severe damage which will affect how they look next year. Desiccation also makes the tree vulnerable to attack by insects and disease. A simple, one-time application of a safe anti-transpirant reduces the risks of winter dramatically.

A quick tip to help protect small, delicate shrubs is to cover them with loose but secure burlap to shelter them from freezing rain and snow. Never use plastic wrapping. This will cause excessive heat and early growth which will die in spring. Trunks of trees susceptible to bark splitting can be wrapped in a white protective wrap to prevent bark splitting that causes nutrient loss.

For more tips on protecting plants during winter, call David Jones at Bio Tech Pest Controls at 401-315-2400 or visit See ad on this page.