The Q&A Archives: Protecting young arborvitaes

Question: We have a row of arborvitae trees in our backyard. They are about 3-4 feet tall and are only a couple of years old. I had heard that to protect the young branches from breakage due to the weight of snow in the winter that they should be covered with burlap and tied with jute. (We are in zone 6B.) I am wondering how we do we wrap the burlap tightly and wind the jute around the whole tree keeping it snug, or do we cover them loosely with some jute at the top and bottom to keep the burlap on and prevent the snow from getting in the branches? Thank you.

Answer: You can tie them to try to provide a broader base of support to hold the weight of the snow and prevent breakage. Here are instructions with diagrams on how to do that. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

Burlap is often used as a wind screen, so perhaps that is why burlap was also recommended.

You can also go out during the snowstorm and brush the snow off perodically (use your arm or a broom, when they are larger) to prevent the snow building up to a heavy weight.

I hope this helps.

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