Seasonal care of trees & shrubs: Stem and branch protection

April 4, 2008 at 6:59 am 3 comments


Stem Protection

The stems of landscape trees and shrubs may need protection from animals or mechanical equipment, especially during the winter months. Animal damage (feeding or rubbing) can be avoided by placing wire mesh or hardware cloth at least 3” from the stem. Mechanical damage (e.g. lawn mower or weed whip abrasion) can be avoided when a mulch ring (see mulch) or a plastic guard is in place. The plastic guard should only encase the portion of the lower stem that is most likely to be damaged by lawn equipment. As the tree grows the plastic guard will need to be removed and replaced in order to prevent girdling or stem constriction.

Branch and Foliage Protection

Ice and snow loading damage can be severe during cold, wet winters on multi-stemmed evergreen trees and shrubs (e.g. junipers, arborvitae, and yews). The overall form of the plant can be protected when the branches are secured with twine or burlap. Read page 3 of the below publication for more information. In order for the tree to resume normal growth remove the twine or burlap by spring.

For more information:  Protecting Trees and Shrubs from the Wicked Winters of the Upper Midwest (.pdf).

More information on each step:

Authored by Rebecca Koetter, Gary R. Johnson, and Dave Hanson: University of Minnesota
Funded in part by USDA Forest Service: Northeastern Area
Chart designed by Andrew Rose:

Download & print your own poster or magnet copy of the “Seasonal Care for Trees and Shrubs in Northern U.S. Climates”

Entry filed under: seasonal care, tree care. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Seasonal care of trees & shrubs: Fertilizing Input needed: 5 things every woodland owner should know

3 Comments Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

About this blog

News and information of interest to Minnesota woodland owners. Sister site to

In the news...

%d bloggers like this: