How to Wrap Burlap Around a Bush

By Jenny Green

Freezing temperatures, icy wind and heavy snow can be bad news for a bush, but a burlap wrapping provides protection. A young bush or one located on the edge of its hardiness zone is particularly vulnerable, and an evergreen bush can suffer permanent foliage damage from winter weather. Burlap allows air and water through, so the bush or shrub doesn't become waterlogged and at risk of rotting while protected. It also protects against the sun's rays, which can cause the bush to warm up and begin growing during a temporary warm spell. This is dangerous because the new growth freezes and becomes damaged when low temperatures return. A frame around a bush stuffed with straw or another insulating material and covered in burlap protects the bush and any shallow surface roots.

Jute and old wood
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Store burlap in a dry, dark place ready to use next year.

Step 1

Water the bush regularly during fall so that the soil remains moist but never sodden.

Step 2

Pass a piece of twine under the topmost branches of the bush after the first hard frost, when a deciduous bush has lost all its leaves. Pull the twine upward and toward you, lifting the branches and drawing them into the center of the bush. Tie a knot in the twine when the branches feel firm and secure but not in any danger of breaking. Tie the layer of branches below in the same way, and continue down the bush until all the branches are firmly tied.

Step 3

Wrap chicken wire taller than the topmost tied branches around the bush, creating a cylinder 6 inches wider than the bush's diameter with edges overlapping by about 1 inch. Push a piece of wire in the hole the bottom of the overlapping edges and out through the hole above it. Twist the wire ends together tightly with pliers. Tie the holes above the first hole together in the same way, and continue up the edge of the chicken wire cylinder until the edges are tied. Push or hammer steel U pins over the wire at the base of the cylinder to secure it to the ground in areas that experience high winds.

Step 4

Push straw or old leaves into the cylinder gently, avoiding damaging the bush's branches, until the cylinder is full.

Step 5

Wrap burlap around and over the cylinder, and tie it in place with twine.

Step 6

Untie the twine and remove the burlap from around the bush in early spring once the worst of the winter weather is over. Pull out about one-quarter of the straw or old leaves.

Step 7

Lift off the chicken wire cylinder and remove the remaining straw or old leaves in midspring. Untie the twine around the branches and gently guide them into place if needed.