The versatile boxwood shrub tolerates severe pruning well, so it's often trained as a formal hedge for borders and privacy. Boxwoods produce evergreen foliage prone to browning during cold winter weather, as cold winds and freezing temperatures leech moisture from the leaves and cause the foliage to burn. A burlap wrap protects the foliage from cold dessication and minimizes winter damage. Apply wraps to boxwoods after the first hard frost, since warm fall weather can cause the shrub to overheat if it's wrapped too early.
Things You'll Need
- Burlap wrapping
Wrap burlap around the boxwood in a single layer. One person holds the end of the burlap in place while another wraps. Arrange the branches inside so they bend upward, as downward-bending branches are more likely to break.
Wind a length of twine around the boxwood near the bottom of the burlap-covered area. Tie the twine together to hold it in place. Continue wrapping the twine until you reach the top of the burlap, then tie the end of the twine. Wrap the boxwood tight enough so the burlap stays in place, but not so tightly that the twine forces the branches out of shape.
Remove the burlap in late winter after most danger of hard frost is past and before the boxwood begins putting on new growth. Overheating occurs if the burlap is left on the shrubs for too long after temperatures begin to warm.
Tips & Warnings
- A burlap screen provides an alternative to wrapping that still protects boxwoods from cold dessication. Place stakes around the boxwood on the windward side of the plant and attach the burlap to the stakes to make the screen.