How Can You Prevent Evergreen Winter Burn?

How Can You Prevent Evergreen Winter Burn?

Besides being sturdy forest staples, evergreen trees and shrubs are ever popular in our neighborhood landscapes for a variety of reasons. Their year-round foliage provides color, privacy, and wind breaks, all while being able to endure harsh weather. Although most varieties are hardy, all evergreens are still susceptible to damage during the cold months. Find out more about evergreen winter burn and how you can protect your landscape foliage.

What Is Evergreen Winter Burn?

During photosynthesis, the process of gathering energy from the sun, plants release water to evaporate. The plants must then be able to replenish their water supply. Certain conditions prevent foliage from absorbing water needed for replenishment. Frozen dry soil, freezing temperatures, and harsh wind and sun contribute to the effects of evergreen winter burn, which is also known as winter scorch or desiccation.

Evergreen Winter Burn Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the variety of evergreen, signs of this damage are yellow-brown to rust-brown needle tips. As the damage progresses, the dryness and discoloration moves down past the needle tips to the entire needle. Damage begins on exterior branches and moves inward. The side of the the tree or shrub exposed to harsh winds or sun shows more obvious damage. If the branches dry out too much, they die.


Wintertime is no wonderland for your landscaping. Here are some steps to help minimize evergreen winter burn damage.

Wrap shrubs or smaller trees with burlap if they are located in high exposure areas. This creates a windbreak to protect the branches.

After a heavy snow, use a broom to gently brush snow off of more delicate shrubbery, young trees, and lower branches. A broom handle easily dislodges hardened snow caked on branches or bushes. Just poke holes in the snow to weaken it. Never try to break ice off branches.

Use a thick layer of mulch around the tree or shrub base to preserve moisture and warmth. Mulch acts as insulated protection to keep the roots that are close to the surface from freezing.

We’re Here to Help

Preventing winter burn takes a little planning, but it is worth it to protect the health of your living landscaping. Proper pruning, good drainage, mulching, and fertilizing should be part of your year-round maintenance plan. Call Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and let us help your landscaping weather any storm.