Wrapping Our Young Triumph Elm To Protect Against Winter Sunscald - November 2022
Sunscald is a fairly common physiological problem found most commonly on young, thin-barked ornamental and fruit trees.
Research suggests that during the winter, frozen tissue on the south or southwest side of the trunk which is also being heated by the sun, thaws and then rapidly refreezes.
They also go on to talking about how to help your young tree and protect it from Winter sunscald:
The most common management strategy is to cover the lower trunk with light colored materials. A number of options are commercially available including rigid corrugated plastic tree guards, kraft paper tree warp, and breathable white fabric tree wrap.They go on to call out NOT using anything dark-colored to wrap your trees as this will only 'intensify the temperature problem'.
And, here below, is a look at this tree wrap from the top-down. It is somewhat corrugated and feels like a stretchy, thin, pliable cardboard. It is also tan-colored, so it checks the box on 'light color' material.
On a recent afternoon, I went out and started to work on the Elm. First, I removed the Tree Gator watering bag that I had been using since the tree was planted. I borrowed this from my neighbor (he recommended it) and it worked perfectly. Made watering the tree in a slow, deliberate way VERY easy. Once I took that watering bag off, I started at the root flare and began to wrap the tree trunk from the bottom up. I used some beige masking tape to secure it a couple of feet up from the root flare. See below, for what the Triumph Elm (3.5" caliper) looks like with a bit of tree wrap (for sunscald and winter cracking protection) looks like: