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Midwest Regional Reports

Preventing Winter Damage in the Garden

Take these steps to protect against the worst of what winter has to offer

Brush snow off of evergreen boughs following snowstorms to prevent broken branches. Photo: Erin Presley

Here in the Midwest, we all remember the winter of 2018 as being a pretty tough one, with lots of snow and ice and polar vortex conditions that sent temperatures plummeting in late January. As we finish the last details of our fall cleanup jobs, we can also take a few extra steps to protect and prepare our landscapes for the winter ahead, whatever it may bring. Consider these extra precautions to help your landscape sail through winter’s challenges and emerge unscathed when the snow melts.

watering evergreens
Evergreens should get an inch of water a week up until the ground freezes to prevent winterburn. Photo: Erin Presley

Protect evergreens

With their foliage exposed to the elements, evergreens are especially sensitive to winter extremes. They lose moisture over winter, which contributes to winterburn, so keep them well-watered until the ground freezes. Yews (Taxus spp. and cvs., Zones 5–8) and arborvitae (Thuja spp.…

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