When should I remove the burlap from my arborvitae?

Asked March 12, 2016, 5:14 PM EST

Hello, I have a couple dozen arborvitae that I planted in my yard as a privacy screen. They are young so I put burlap on them during the winter. I was just wondering when it is appropriate to take the burlap off. Since this winter was warmer than most, maybe sooner than later? Thanks!

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

It was a very good idea to protect your arborvitae with burlap for the winter. Young trees are much more susceptible to winter damage since they haven't had time to develop a thick bark.
Even though it has been a mild winter, I would keep the burlap on for a while yet. The damage happens when the temps during the day warm the bark which then begins to swell. However, when the sun goes down, so does the temperature which can then causes the bark to contract. That movement causes damage. For evergreen trees it is recommended to continue protection until the temps stay above 28 degrees.
More information about winter damage to trees can be found here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/

That's very helpful, thank you!