Trees that have direct southern exposure during the winter months are highly susceptible to tree bark splitting and sun scald damage. Tree bark damage occurs during warm days when the sun heats the bark on the southern side of the tree. During the night the tree's bark cools. This repetitive heating and cooling expands and contracts the tree's bark. If this expansion and contraction of the tree's bark continues over and over again it will cause the bark to split exposing the unprotected inner layer of the tree. Wrapping a tree protects the bark and maintains a more constant temperature thereby reducing the expansion and contraction of the tree bark.
What Trees Need to Be Winter Tree Wrapped?
- Young trees always need to be wrapped, especially during the first 2-5 years after translating. A general rule is that all newly planted deciduous trees require winter wrapping to protect the thin bark that is very susceptible bark from cracking.
- It is recommended to wrap deciduous trees until the tree has a naturally protective thick bark; however, if the tree is located in direct southern exposure than winter wrapping is recommended even if the species does not require annual wrapping.
- Certain tree species including ash, honeylocust, and linden trees require annual wrapping; sometimes even when they are mature.
What Trees Do Not Need to Be Winter Tree Wrapped?
- Mature trees with furrowed bark do not require winter tree wrapping.
- Trees that have white bark like aspen and birch trees do not need winter tree wrapping.
- Coniferous trees like fir, spruce, and pines do not need winter tree wrapping.
Organo-Lawn is your local tree care expert. Call our office in Boulder (303) 499-2000 or Fort Collins (970) 225-9425 if you have any tree care questions.
This apple tree in Boulder Colorado has suffered extreme bark splitting from direct southern exposure and excessive temperature fluctuations.
Winter Tree Wrapping protects young
trees from winter sun scald.
Always wrap a tree starting at the
bottom of the trunk working up the
tree to the first tree limb.
We secure the wrapping with a special
tape that can expand and is gentle
on the tree’s bark.