Wrapping Arborvitae

kbpipeNovember 9, 2007

Hello Everyone,

I have 8 newly planted arborvitae arranged in an "L" configuration. They are planted in an area between two houses and the houses act as some sort of wind tunnel.

The winter wind really blows through there amazingly hard.

I am worried that the wind will damage / wind burn my

new arborvitaes. I am thinking about wrapping them with burlap.

How do I go about that? Do I wrap each individual plant tightly with the burlap or do I kind of make a barrier with the burlap by putting in stakes in front of the plants and use the burlap to block the wind? What do you use to hold the burlap together, twine, rope, zip strips, etc?

When is the best time to cover them?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where are you.. what zone???

what soil.. have you watered them properly?

is there mulch ...

i will tell you if you need to wrap them.. once i know what zone you are in ...

are you near a tractor supply or some other type of farm store ... twine at the hardware store is like 3 bucks for 100 feet.. at the farm store... 2250 feet for maybe under 12 bucks .... you can never have enough twine.. lol ...


Here is a link that might be useful: twine

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:23AM
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I live in Ohio - zone 5
I have watered them with a soaker hose about 2-4 hrs once a week for the last 3 - 4 weeks. They are planted on top of a raised bed with new top soil.
Yes, I have and can get more twine. If I use the twine how tight do I have to wrap the plants?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 2:38PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you have two reasons to wrap ... first to reduce snow load .. and second for winter protection ....

i would make a large.. slightly tight.. but basically loose ring around the bottom most branches .... never tie to the tree .... tie twine to twine .... then proceed around the tree.. gently forcing up branches [4 hands works better than two, until you learn how to do it ] .. then get near the top [no need to go all the way up] .. then back down .. maybe 3 or 4 times around up on a 4 to 6 foot plant.. and same down.. and tie to the twine again ... and let the ball lay on the ground ....

while at tractor.. they should sell burlap ... wrap some around the tree ... then twine up and down one more time to secure the burlap .... large nails can be used to hold the burlap together .. like a stick pin .... then tie the twine to the bottom twine again ... should be all set ... boy .. i will tell you.. describing it in writing.. sure makes it sound stupid .. lol ... leave the top and the bottom open.. sorta like a chimney ... it needs air circulation ... we are just trying to break high wind.. and shade them from winter sun ...

after this year.. you can skip the burlap .. perhaps ONLY twining them .. if they have multiple leaders.. a single leader arb.. should be able to take snow load .. but that is a pruning issue.. and not what this post is about ....

sounds like you are watering well ... but you seem to be doing it on a schedule.. rather than inserting a finger.. and seeing if the tree actually needs water ... the reason i ask.. is that there was no use in protecting them.. if they were going into winter totally devoid of water .... its about time to stop watering.. insert your finger.. and if it is cool and damp .. stop watering ....

tightness is not an issue.. tight enough to accomplish the job... we aren't really looking to bind the tree ... if you ever shopped Xmas trees.. and they bound it to get it home... you have the idea ... but they do it a lot tighter to make it smaller.. you do NOT need that tightness, nor smallness ..

flapping burlap would probably be worse than not having it at all ... so don't spare the twine.. that's why i suggested 2250 feet ball ... no fear of running out.. lol ...

and never tie to the tree itself... you find out 10 years later when a branch dies.. that you somehow missed removal .. and choked the life out of a branch or the tree.. besides.. twine.. being natural will probably rot itself off before then .. NEVER USE A MAN MADE product that has a half life of a billion years ...

when to do it .... when you are sure you will never hit a 60 degree day again ... so anytime between now and 1/1 .... since its your first try .. its better to do it a bit earlier .. so you have reasonable weather to work in... when you are expert... you will have a good learning curve.. and can do it efficiently .... you will be able to do it any time ...

try google images for burlapping trees or conifers.. and see if you can come up with some pix or tutorials ...

good luck

PS: i wouldn't be surprised at being skewered on the verbal description.. this is how i would do it.. but as noted above.. it sounds stupid as heck ... if you can do better.. give it a go .. lol

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Thanks Ken,
I understand what you are saying. I may wait another couple of weeks since its suppose to get in the 60's this week. In regards to the watering I wanted to make sure they are fully hydrated going into the winter months. I will do the finger check.
Thanks again for the info.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:24AM
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