Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Protect Tree Bark in Winter

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Smooth-bark trees need protection from animals and weather. Here’s how to keep tree bark safe in winter.

wrapping trunk with tree wrap

Young trees and those with smooth, thin bark are prone to two problems in winter: browsing and frost cracking.

Animal Browsing. Small animals, such as field mice and rabbits, will gnaw at tree bark when other food is hard to find in winter. The wounds offer an entry point for insects and disease. And if the gnawing goes around most of the trunk, the tree can die.

Frost Cracking. This is also known as “southwest injury” because it is most likely to occur on the southwest side of a tree. On warm winter days, the sap underneath the thin, sunbaked bark warms up, then freezes as temperatures suddenly drop at night. This causes ugly cracking which offers an entry for insects and disease. Trees with thick bark are not affected.

wrapping trunk with tree wrap

What do you do? Protect the trunk with tree wrap, which can be pulled taut against the trunks of both small and large trees. Unlike plastic spiral tree guards, there are no gaps in which insects can hide. Start 1 inch below ground and proceed to the lowest branches. Wrap tightly and overlap each layer of paper by about half. Fasten with duct tape. Be sure to remove in spring to allow for renewed growth.