Winter protection of juniper tree

Asked December 10, 2019, 12:41 PM EST

We acquired seven junipers 6’ tall from a neighbor this summer. They seem healthy but the snow is weighing down the branches on several of them. Can i wrap them with green plastic snow fencing? We started with burlap but it is a bit cumbersome pulling everything together and we will need a lot of it. I already have the snow fencing. Thanks

Minnesota winter damage winter protection wrapping fig tree for winter

1 Response

Thanks for the question.

It seems as if you are anticipating two potential issues for your junipers.

The first is the possible damage to the trees from a heavy snow load on their branches. This can certainly occur. I am currently dealing with this potential with several of my arbor vitae. I typically just gently shake the branches and that gives a temporary reprieve. Wrapping your junipers with snow fencing would also serve this purpose and, in fact, may be a better measure than merely shaking the branches.

I fully appreciate the effort involved with burlap wrapping. Typically this is done more to prevent winter sun scald than preventing snow load. Plastic fencing is also a protective measure though not quite as effective as burlap. Fencing is intended to reduce the drying effects of winter winds. Wrapping with two or three layers of fencing would be advisable. If your junipers are in a north or north east location, the possibility of winter burn is reduced.

Here are some publications that elaborate on these and other points:

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter

(Please note that there are several pull-down menus at the above site)

https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/winter-burn/

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/winter-protection/8644.html

Please get back to us if you have further questions. Good Luck!!