Monday, November 7, 2016

Now's the time to apply tree wrap.


Have you seen trees with dead or damaged areas on the trunk? When the damage occurs on the south or west side of the tree trunk, it is most likely caused by sunscald. It’s not unusual for winter temperatures to reach 60° Fahrenheit in the daytime and then fall below freezing after the sun goes down. When it gets this warm during the day, the low winter sun heats up the tree bark, especially on the south and southwest sides of the tree. The sun’s warming action breaks the tree's dormancy and the cells on that side of the tree wakeup and become active.  When the temperatures fall after sunset, the active cells and tissue die. The damaged area will often shrink and discolor.
Later in the season, the bark may fall off, leaving a long scar. Applying tree wrap now is a quick and simple way to protect the tree from the winter sun.
Tree wrap is a corrugated paper product, sold in 50' and 150' rolls.
Start at the base of the tree and spiral the wrap upward to the first primary branch.
Overlap each turn about 1/3rd.
Once you reach the first set of branches, loop the tree wrap over a strong, sturdy branch and tape it, so it will stay in place. A good rule of thumb is to wrap your trees around Halloween and remove the wrap around Easter. You want to leave the tree wrap off during the growth months of spring and summer, then reapply in late fall.  You should wrap trees for the first six or seven years after you plant them. After that, the bark should be thick enough to reduce the risk of sunscald damage and you shouldn't have to apply tree wrap every year. Once you've got the trunk wrapped, give the tree a good soaking. Trees can handle winter weather better, if you water them now.


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