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Shield your new trees and shrubs from harsh winter winds and snow

A white house with black shutters and door in the winter. In front, four shrubs are wrapped in burlap to protect them from ice and snow.
Robert Winkler/Getty Images
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Cover bushes and wrap new trees to protect them from harsh winter weather.

From burlap wraps to A-frames, we'll learn how to protect new fruit trees and shrubs from winter winds and snow.

As winter winds and snow arrive, new plant parents should prepare fruit trees and protect shrubs from winter wind, ice and snow.

And if the new bark is left exposed, rabbits and voles will make a winter snack of it, so it's best to keep it covered.

It's especially important to cover new fruit and deciduous trees, or any type of tree that has young bark. And protecting these trees can be as simple as putting a hardware cloth or plastic tree wrap around them.

If you have plants like blueberries bushes, cover those, as well, as rabbits love them. To keep them protected, try putting some wire mesh around the blueberries so they don't eat all the new growth. And you want to protect them from deer, too.

Putting up some kind of fencing with some stakes or even some bird netting around your trees could help keep the deer away.

For plants like tender roses, hybrid teas or floribunda roses, pile up bark chips or wood chips and bury the crown of the plant.

Burying the rose bush crown protects that growth point, which is important for next year's growth.

The same method can work for blue hydrangeas - just pour some wood chips to protect the branches at the crown so they make it through the winter and flower a little bit sooner.

And finally, if you have broadleaf evergreens, rhododendrons or mountain laurel, protect them by placing four stakes around the plant and then wrapping them with chicken wire, then burlap.

This technique ensures the shrubs will be shielded from winds but don't wrapped too tightly as the burlap tends to wick away moisture.

Would it hurt to cut back all of my clematis, or should I only do certain ones? - Gail, in Colchester

There are different types of clematis that require different care. If you have the spring flowering types of clematis - clematis alpina or Montana - those you don't want to cut back fully. Instead, prune them back a little bit. Cutting them too much may mean you get fewer flowers in the spring.

If you have the summer blooming ones that flower on the old wood like niobe, and Nelly Moser - after the first bloom of flowers, cut back after that first flush of flowers. Late winter is a better time take care of this.

You can cut some of the fall blooming clematis like virgin's bower right back to the ground unless you're growing them up a pergola or a trellis where you want to have height to them. If that's where your fall-blooming clematis is climbing, then leave it there and clean up in the spring.

Have questions about winter and holiday house plants? Join Charlie Nardozzi and Vermont PBS for a webinar on Dec.1 at 7 p.m.

In the webinar, Charlie will cover plant care for favorite holiday plants like the amaryllis, Christmas cactus, poinsettias and others with plenty of time to answer your questions!

And next week, we'll be talking about flowering holiday plants, too! So send your questions about Christmas cactus, poinsettias and more.

We've closed our comments. Read about ways to get in touch here.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a messageor get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.