We’ve been having a classic Great Lakes/Finger Lakes winter so far. Fluctuating temperatures, frequent freeze/thaw cycles, days with plowable snow and days with bare ground are typical of a Great Lakes winter. They’re also the perfect combination of conditions that cause winter burn on evergreens.
I hope you had us spray your evergreens with antidesiccant. This wax like material keeps transpired water from photosynthesis from being blown from leaves and needles before it can be reabsorbed by the leaves and used again in the process. It’s the most economical protections against winter burn that you can provide for these valuable trees and shrubs.
If you did have antidesiccant applied, it may need to be reapplied. Normally, the waxy material melts in spring when the weather warms up. If the weather warms up during the winter, the antidesiccant can melt early, in which case, it should be “touched-up.”
If you didn’t have us protect your evergreens before winter arrived, there’s plenty of winter left, and we can still apply antidesiccant for the first time. Our professionals will also inspect your plants and , if any are already suffering from winter burn, we’ll advise you of that. The only treatment is pruning out the dead branches.
In addition to preventjng winter burn, antidesiccant is also good for the smooth bark of some deciduous trees like sycamore or cherry. Freeze/thaw cycles can cause frost cracks – cracks in the bark that run up and down the tree. They occur when water in the trunk thaws and begins flowing during a thaw, only to freeze again and expand, cracking the bark.
Antidesiccant can be applied only when the temperatures are above freezing. For best results, we try to wait until the mercury soars above 40º F. The sooner you call the earlier we can get you on our schedule for when the weather breaks again.