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How to Winterize Shrubs

In this how-to video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares his secrets for helping shrubs survive old man winter

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to winterize shrubs.


1 Water shrubs throughout the fall and up until the ground freezes.
2 Spread 4 inches of bark mulch or ground-up leaves around base of shrub to insulate the ground.
3 Create a wind barrier by driving wooden stakes into ground around the shrub, then wrapping burlap around the stakes; staple burlap to the stakes.
4 Spray an anti-desiccant onto the shrub's leaves -top and bottom to prevent them from drying out.
5 Start applying the anti-desiccant in November, and repeat once a month throughout the winter; don't spray anti-desiccant when temperatures dip below 40 degrees.
6 For a large number of shrubs, apply the anti-desiccant using a garden pump sprayer.
7 To protect shrubs from snow damage, tie up branches with jute twine.
8 For new plantings, wrap the shrub in burlap and tie with twine for protection from both wind and snow.
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