In winter, trees are vulnerable to damage during extreme weather. Sunlight shining directly on the trunk can heat the wood enough to temporarily break its dormancy, resulting in severe damage when the sun shifts and crippling winter cold rapidly cools the tree. Wrapping the trunk of your tree with burlap helps protect it from the damaging effects of winter exposure and discourages foraging animals from damaging the trunk.
Things You'll Need
- Burlap roll
- Water-resistant outdoor tape
- Sturdy scissors
Place one end of the burlap roll on the trunk of the tree at its base and hold it in place. Pass the roll around the trunk of the tree so the burlap forms a band around the base of the tree. Maintain pressure on the burlap to hold it in place while you wrap the tree.
Move the burlap roll up the tree trunk one-half the width of the roll each time you pass it around the trunk. Continue passing the roll around the trunk and moving up the tree until you reach the first branch. Wrap the roll around the branch several times to ensure the wrapping does not come off. Tighten any sections of burlap hanging loose on the trunk.
Attach one end of your tape to the burlap at the base of the tree and wrap it around the tree twice. Wrap the tape around the trunk three times so it overlaps itself and creates a band around the base of the tree. Keep the tape taut as you wrap it around the trunk. Repeat this process at the middle of the burlap wrapping and at the top of the wrapping.
Cut the burlap at the top of the trunk and unwrap it from the branch where it is hanging. Remove the burlap wrapping in the spring shortly after the final frost of the season. Take care not to damage the bark if you cut the burlap off the trunk.
Tips & Warnings
- You can protect the foliage of a tree using a free-standing screen of wooden stakes with burlap stretched between them. Placing a screen facing the origin of the prevailing winds in your area provides good protection against desiccating winds and avoids the problems associated with wrapping a tree during winter.
- Spray a chemical repellent on the trunk and branches above the burlap wrap to deter rabbits and deer from foraging on your tree.
- Wrapping the foliage of an evergreen tree with burlap crowds branches and reduces the amount of light that reaches the leaves. Evergreen foliage crammed together in a dark space is more vulnerable to disease.
- Photo Credit Elena Elisseeva/Hemera/Getty Images
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