Protecting Trees and Shrubs From Arctic Blasts

We had a warm early winter, but we all knew it couldn’t last. Arctic blasts are coming and we’ll likely have frigid temps on and off until spring. With so much freezing and thawing your plants may need a little help to get through the winter unscathed.

The main issue that causes winter damage to trees and shrubs is desiccation, or drying out. When the ground freezes the roots are unable to take up water from the soil, so they quickly begin to use up all the water stored in their leaves and stems.

While trees and evergreens are built to survive the cold, it’s still a hard time and it can weaken them, allowing disease to set in. Plants such as Rhododendrons and Hollies have a thick, waxy covering on their leaves to hold in water. However, if during the winter plants are exposed to harsh winds or harsh sunlight the plant responds by releasing water from its leaves. This biological response, combined with the unavailability of water, results in winter burn, which can ruin these plants and shrubs.

To prevent this issue we utilize anti-desiccants. Anti-desiccants are products that can be applied to evergreen trees and shrubs to help create a protective barrier that holds in moisture through the winter. While two applications in December and one in February is ideal, it isn’t too late to protect your plants from drying out.

Which plants benefit from anti-desiccants?

  • Broadleaf evergreens such as Azalea, Boxwood, Holly, and Rhododendron
  • Conifers such as Arborvitae, Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, and Pine
  • Tender stems such as Rose Canes and Hydrangea Stems


If you are worried about your trees and plants this winter call the plant healthcare experts at Aronica Plant Healthcare.