Evergreen Winter Protectant

Cold dry winds in the winter lead to desiccation (drying out) of leaves and needles of evergreen trees and shrubs. Evergreen trees and shrubs maintain their foliage throughout the winter and continue to lose moisture through their pores. With fluctuating temperatures all winter long, moisture loss through transpiration and frozen ground water demand in evergreens increases. With frozen and dry soils, the roots are not able to keep up with these demands for water. When this happens, needles and leaves start to brown, desiccate and die.
 
Anti-desiccant sprays are applied in late fall when temperatures begin dropping but remain above freezing. Until recently, one application of an anti-desiccant material was enough to last all winter on Long Island. With recent changes in winter weather patterns and warmer mid winter temperatures, properties exposed to greater winds may require two applications to last the entire winter.
 
Plants common to Long Island that should be treated include;

  • Rhododendron
  • Boxwood
  • Holly
  • Azalea
  • Cherry laurel
  • skip laurel
  • Mountain laurel
  • Skimmia
  • Leucothoe
  • Arborvitae