Winter 2020

The science of preserving nature since 1964

Anti-desiccant Treatment: Keep Your Evergreens Protected in Winter

During winter, your evergreens are the showcase of your landscape. However, winter can also be very stressful for them. The cold, winter wind, and extreme fluctuations in temperatures can cause moisture-loss (as a result of the tree or plant losing a lot more water through its leaves than it can absorb through the roots) which can lead to dieback. Without winter protection, even if evergreens appear green in winter, they could turn brown by spring as temperatures rise.


An anti-desiccant treatment (winter protection) for your evergreens involves applying a mild substance that forms a thin, transparent film on and under leaf surfaces mimicking one of the trees’ natural defenses. This film acts as a moisture barrier, dramatically slowing the outward movement of water from a tree’s foliage. Additionally, anti-desiccants help minimize sunscald, which is a condition resulting from white surfaces (anything covered in snow) reflecting sunlight onto, and ultimately burning, the foliage of the tree or shrub.


The following types of landscape plants are most often susceptible to desiccation and hence are most commonly sprayed with an anti-desiccant:

  • Broadleaf evergreens such as azalea, boxwood, holly and rhododendron.
  • Conifers such as arborvitae, cedar, cypress, juniper and pine.
  • Tender stems such as rose canes and hydrangea stems.


Please schedule a site visit with your arborist so we can recommend the best winter care treatment and products for your evergreen trees and shrubs. We encourage you to schedule it as soon as possible because we have a limited window of opportunity to make the applications.



Hollys (above) and Schip Laurels (below) are most susceptible to desiccation.



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58 Beechwood Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801



Upper Westchester (North of I-287)

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547 Hope Street, Stamford CT 06907



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504 High Mountain Road, North Haledon, NJ 07508



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