How to Build a Frame to Protect the Bushes in Winter

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Exposed lilacs will need protection in harsh winters.
Exposed lilacs will need protection in harsh winters. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Shrubs can suffer quite a bit during the winter, even the evergreens. If there isn’t much snow, the freezing and thawing of the ground can heave plants right out of place; if there is no protection from the wind and little snow -- snow also provides that protection -- plants dry out and branches and twigs can die. The sun can also do its fair share of damage, especially if there’s snow to act as a reflector. It’s simple and inexpensive to construct wind and sun shelter for your shrubs with a few easy-to-come-by materials. The top of this particular type of shelter remains open to let in rain and snow, but keeps out harsh wind gusts and strong winter sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 3 wooden stakes, 1 foot longer than the tree is tall
  • Burlap
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer

Measure the height of the shrub or small tree you wish to protect. Add about a foot to its height to determine how tall your stakes should be. Three stakes will allow you to protect the plant on the southern, southwestern and windward sides, as the University of Minnesota recommends.

Hammer the stakes into place. The stakes should be at least a foot deep and positioned about 18 inches from the bush.

Measure the distance from stake to stake on all three sides to determine how much burlap you need. Burlap is breathable, light and easy to work with. Once you have your measurement, add about 6 inches to account for the fabric that will wrap around the edges of the outside stakes. You can always trim away the excess to make them look tidy, but a little extra will ensure that you don’t fall short.

Staple the burlap to the stakes. Start with one stake, staple the edge of the burlap into place and then wrap it around the frame, stapling it on the middle stake as well. If the bush is taller than the width of the burlap, tack on another section above the one you’ve already attached.

Tips & Warnings

  • A bolt of burlap will allow you to measure and cut as necessary if you have multiple frames to build.

References

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