Some people think tree wrap is bad for trees. They say it hinders growth and can become a home for pests. Both of these problems may be true if you leave the tree wrap on your tree year round. However, in many situations, tree wrap is very beneficial to the tree.
The most important time to wrap a tree is when the tree is young, that’s when they are most vulnerable to sunburn, rodent injury, and frost injury. Thin barked trees (locust, peach, redbud, etc.) are especially sensitive. When trees get older they produce a thicker layer of bark that acts as a protective layer. Stone fruits (peach, nectarine, apricot, almond, etc.) may need protection from winter sunburn longer than other trees. Trees may also need protection from physical injury such as lawnmower damage or animal injury. This type of protection may need to be left on the tree year round.
The best time to wrap most trees is in late fall, however, tree wrap will help protect newly planted trees the very first summer. Use either Paper Tree Wrap or Treesaver Tree Wrap to protect trees from sunburn. Start wrapping at the base of the tree. Overlap an inch, keeping the wrap tight enough to keep insects from getting between the layers. Remove the tree wrap as soon as the tree starts leafing out in the spring. Replace the tree wrap the next fall, until the tree is old enough to withstand injury. Use Ross Tree Protectors to protect your trees from damage due to lawnmowers and rodents (including dogs and cats). If you must leave your trees wrapped all year be sure to check the wrap regularly. Make sure the wrap is not girdling the tree and spray with an insecticide or fungicide if needed.
The only time wrapping a tree is really necessary is when your tree is young - that’s when it's most vulnerable. Wrapping a tree helps protect it from winter sunburn. Even though the temperature is cold, young trees can still get sunburned on a sunny day. If you have ever been ice fishing or skiing on a bright, sunny day, you know how easy it is to get sunburned.
Thin-barked trees such as peach, nectarine, locust, flowering cherry, linden, and some Japanese maples are especially sensitive to sunburn, even when they are older. The best time to apply tree wrap is in the late-fall. Remove the tree wrap early in the spring to allow for new growth during the season. If you leave your tree wrap in place year round, it can hinder growth. It can also become a home for insect pests.