The Q&A Archives: How Should I Protect My Plant In The Winter?

Question: I live between Buffalo and Niagra falls...with cold winters and lake effect snow. I purchased a designer Arborvatae. What should I do to protect it for the winter?

Answer: In general, rborvitae or Thuja occidentalis, is extremely cold tolerant. Most varieties are rated hardy to at least thrity degrees below zero. The plant should have no problem withstanding a winter in your area without special care. Depending on the variety, some will turn bronzy in the winter time, but that is normal and the ordinary green will return the following summer. If it is newly planted, make sure the soil is kept evenly moist but not sopping wet until it freezes. You could also put a layer of several inches of organic mulch over the root area, but do not allow it to touch the trunk. Keep in mind that snow is an excellent insulator and is usually a good thing. An exception to this is if heavy snow weighs down the branches. To prevent possible breakage, use a broom or your arm to gently brush off snow periodically to avoid a heavy accumulation. Enjoy your arborvitae!

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