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Winterizing Flowering Bushes: Winter Protection With a Shrub Shelter

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Preventive Shrub Care: Winter Protection With a Shelter
Protect shrubs from winter damage by providing shelter.

Rather than buying plywood for an A-frame such as the one above, I prefer using free, natural materials. Besides, A-frames don't fit over large shrubs.

David Beaulieu

Most deciduous flowering bushes, unlike evergreens, provide no visual interest in winter, but their promise of spring blooming gets us through many a dreary winter day. There's some preventive shrub care to provide for your flowering bushes to return the favor -- some simple winter protection.

Shrubs can be damaged by heavy snows or ice storms that snap their branches. You can build a simple pole-shelter within which to house your flowering bushes. Lay a "roofing" of evergreen boughs on such a structure afterwards to winterize the shrub. After Christmas, you can even cut the boughs off your Christmas tree and use them for the roofing, thus killing two birds with one stone: winterizing a shrub and recycling your Christmas tree.

This 10-page tutorial, with pictures, shows what the poles for the structure will look like and how to assemble them.

The idea is to build a grid supported by 4 posts. After construction, a simple covering will be placed over the grid, keeping snow and ice off the flowering shrub.

Measure the dimensions of the flowering shrub that you wish to protect. The measurements will determine the size of the poles needed. The example I'll be using is for a 5' X 5' shrub (adjust accordingly for the measurements of your own shrub), for which we'll need the following for poles:

  • 4 vertical poles at about 8' in length
  • 7 horizontal poles at about 6' in length

Supplies needed to build this shelter for flowering shrubs:

  1. Shovel
  2. Tape measure
  3. Protective eyewear, steel-toed shoes
  4. Your choice of cutting instrument:
    • Bowsaw
    • Hatchet
    • Chainsaw

I prefer to cut and limb the trees with a hatchet and buck them with a bow saw. Hand tools are quieter and allow you to enjoy the project more. On Page 2 we gather the poles....

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