Plant of the Month – Tip for Boulder CO area landscapes-February 2022

Wrapping Broadleaf Evergreen Shrubs in Burlap for Winter

Boulder, CO area landscapes {Plant of the Month Tip}

Plant of the Month - Tip for Boulder CO area landscapes-February 2022- Wrapping Broadleaf Evergreen Shrubs in Burlap for WinterWinters along the Front Range of Colorado have extremes in temperature, both warm and cold, since we are in a high plains cold semi-arid steppe climate. We can have temperatures that swing wildly by 70 degrees or more in 24 hours. We have lows that can approach -30F and we can have extended periods of little or no moisture. That can wreak havoc on all plants, but especially broadleaf evergreen shrubs. These are shrubs like Boxwood, Rhododendron, Broom, Cotoneaster, Euonymus, Holly, Manzanita and Pyracantha. Some of these are more hardy than others, but for Boxwood and Holly, especially, it may be prudent to consider wrapping these shrubs with burlap over the 3 coldest winter months. If Boxwood, for example, are properly planted in summer shade, but are exposed to harsh winter sunlight due to leaves being off the trees above, then wrapping may help provide the shade they need over the winter. The burlap will also help protect from harsh winter winds, and insulate from extremes in temperature.

Usually, the plant itself is strong enough to support the weight of the burlap, but one might need a few stakes around each plant to help support the burlap. Take baling twine and wrap the base of the plant at a minimum to keep the burlap from blowing in the wind. For columnar boxwood in your Boulder Colorado landscape, consider wrapping the twine around the plant from top to bottom to help cinch the burlap to the plant. Think about keeping the plant aerodynamic to protect it from our incredibly strong winter winds. Wrap plants around December 1st, and remove the burlap around March 1st, or when the leaves begin to leaf out and provide proper shade again for the Boxwoods. Rhododendron, Holly, and Euonymus are probably the other three species that might need wrapping. Once plants are established, they will be more tolerant of harsh weather, but better safe than sorry.

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