Tree Planting 101: Part 9 – Tree Wrapping

Trees are typically planted in the fall season.  As we transition into winter, we get some hot and cold transition periods where the sun hits the tree and warms up during the day, then the sun goes down at night and cools down drastically.  The heating and cooling of the bark will cause expansion and contraction to occur, which can cause splitting of the bark.  Splitting of the bark can negatively affect the health of the tree.  Adding a winter tree wrap to a newly planted or young tree can help insulate the tree – keeping the bark protected from the extreme expansion and contraction leading into the winter season.  A tree wrap is a soft, stretchy fabric that will expand as the tree grows.  The wrap can then remain on the tree until the spring.  An arborist can help determine which trees need to be wrapped, and also help determine the best time to wrap and remove the wrap from the tree.

Tree wrapping tips:

  • Wrap the tree trunk in late fall to and remove in the spring.  This will protect the young tree from winter sunscald
  • Tree wrap should be applied starting from the bottom of the tree and making its way up to the top.  This way the wrap acts like a shingle system, keeping moisture from rain and snow outside of the wrap.
  • A professional tree wrap applied by an arborist will look clean and organized
  • Some tree species are more susceptible to splitting than others.  An arborist can help determine which trees need to be wrapped, and which trees will be okay without it.
  • Any young trees with direct southern exposure should be wrapped