Trees and Shrubs forum: Removing winter protection

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 5, 2015 2:11 PM CST
I put up burlap as winter protection this year around a 20 yo Hinoki cypress and two hollies that were badly damaged the previous winter. As I had never done this before, I was wondering when to remove the burlap. It's stapled to wooden posts, not wound directly around the plants. I'm about 30 miles southeast of Chicago. The cypress is exposed on the south, west and north. The hollies sit back under some old oaks with western exposure. I would appreciate any advice.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
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JuneOntario
Mar 5, 2015 4:35 PM CST
I would recommend you only remove the burlap when the ground has thawed sufficiently for the plants' roots to become active and take up water. In your area, would this be late April? Leaving the burlap on longer will not hurt the plants, but taking it off too soon could lead to wind-burn.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 5, 2015 4:47 PM CST
Thanks, June, for responding so quickly! Good point about waiting for the ground to thaw. My neighbors will just have to put up with a 7' tall burlap box in front of my house. :)
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 1
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JuneOntario
Mar 5, 2015 8:35 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I too have had a variety of burlap constructions - odd-shaped mounds, teepees, boxes, etc. - decorating my lawn in past winters. Sometimes, curious passers-by would stop to peer inside the burlap and then go away shaking their heads.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 6, 2015 9:12 AM CST
My next door neighbor is quite the perfectionist. I'm sure my burlap is really bothering her since she took out a perfectly healthy native shagbark hickory (called it a weed tree) for dropping nuts at the edge of her lawn. The winter protection thing is not done in my neck of the woods so I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a bit different.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
JuneOntario
Mar 6, 2015 4:15 PM CST
Other folks' ideas of yard perfection can seem strange. One time we had a neighbor that used to employ contractors to weed-spray and fertilize his huge lawn, and mow the grass in straight lines, and he watered it throughout the summer so it was always green, even though his property was out in the countryside, miles from suburbia. How he must have hated my expanse of meadow (I could never call it a lawn) that changed color through the seasons as dandelions, buttercups, hawkweeds, pussytoes, and clovers bloomed in it, and it went brown in the summer drought. And it was never mowed straight. At that time, I had burlap wind barriers all along the foundation plantings at the back of the house, which he could see from his windows. However, I had a good view of all the aluminum pie plates hanging from his apple trees and the plastic windmills set all around the edge of his yard, which was his completely useless attempt to keep deer away. Sometimes, he used to emerge from his house and fire a shotgun into the air to disturb the deer, which was kind of alarming to me too. Hilarious!
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 6, 2015 5:05 PM CST
I laughed at the vision of plastic windmills. While I secretly strive for perfection, I've acknowledged that I'll never have it in my gardens and maybe that's a good thing. I don't know that I can subscribe to man over nature but chipmunks, squirrels and a neighborhood groundhog keep me humble. :)
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 6, 2015 10:15 PM CST
Your burlap box probably looks a whole lot better than my old flowered, plaid, moldy sheets covering my plants! Just sayin'. I tip my hat to you. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 7, 2015 8:25 AM CST
I love old sheets for use outdoors. My favorite leaf-hauling aid in the fall. Mine are currently being used to provide a little extra insulation (over styrofoam panels) for my tall cold frame. Have shrub cuttings from last year that I'm trying to acclimate to outdoors without totally freezing them in their pots. Have a couple of sheets that are 25 yrs old.

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