The Q&A Archives: Protecting Evergreens From Winter Damage

Question: Our 5 ft. diameter Mugo Mountain Pine is frequently under attack by heavy winter snow. I do remove the snow after a snow fall, but the damage has already been done. Can the plant be wrapped or tied to prevent the bending of the branches?

Answer: You are off to a good start by removing the heavy snow from the branches. There are a few things you can do to further "winterize" your evergreens and protect them from heavy snow and harsh winds. In my opinion, the best route to take is to install burlap wind screens to shelter the shrubs from the winter wind. I usually create a lean-to or tent like structure. This method works better for me as opposed to actually wrapping the shrub (because, as you mention, that presents its own problems). If your pine also suffers from windburn or desiccation, you can apply an antidesiccant spray before the first frost (which I'm guessing you've missed since you have all the snow) or, during a mild spell (40F and up).

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