Why do I need to use "tree wrap" on my newly planted trees?

October 02, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

"Tree wrap" is necessary for, not only newly planted trees but also thin barked trees, like soft maple, honeylocust and crabapples. Tree wrap is used to prevent sunscald injury which usually occurs during winter and early spring. Intense sunlight warms the surface of the trees to the point of stimulating cell activity in the bark. A sudden drop in temperature at night can cause damage to the tree resulting in a condition known as sunscald. Commercial crepe wrap is usually light in color which helps reflect the light and cuts down on the heating process. Trees planted on the south sides of buildings can be especially vulnerable and most of the damage will show up on the southwest sides of the tree. Apply the wrap in November. Start at the bottom of the trunk, overlapping the wrap as you wind it upward. Secure the end with a staple or small tack. Don't use tape or twine, as it may girdle the tree. In April, remove the wrap so insects or diseases aren't tempted to move in. An easy way to remember... wrap by Thanksgiving and unwrap by Easter.

For information on the care and maintenance of trees, visit the eXtension website:  Trees and Shrubs.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.