instant plant protectors

rouge21_gw(5)January 6, 2013

I snapped this picture the other day. It shows a small residential property with some of their bushes or shrubs or perennials under the protection of "framed shrub covers". I was interested enough that I inquired of the owners the details of this product. It is made by NuVue.

I have a newly planted hydrangea (2012) and a more established one that is in zone denial that are currently surrounded by messy looking 'burlap'. This setup might be worth trying next year for such plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: SHRUB COVERS

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are you kidding me???

see link

they can kiss my PWA .. for that money .... [must be a homemade acronym .. lol]

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:40PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Wow, normally I don't balk at spending money on things that make my life easier but the price of those (using Ken's link) is utterly ridiculous. I might pay $50 or $60 for a larger size that is of good quality, it would be easier than using a home-made contraption, but no way is that worth over $200! Although, admittedly I am not an expert on outdoor materials, so maybe it's some new fancy-schmancy special material that is worth a couple bills - ? (probably not...).

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:24PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

You could just replace the shrubs each year for less money than those contraptions cost. Makes no sense to me.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:58PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Ken are you kidding me ;)? Do you realize that the 28" x 28" x 34" protector going for your stated $220 is for a PACK of TEN?

And in Canada, one of the same product is $17.99....seems reasonable to protect a special young shrub.

And the largest protector ie one which can accommodate a conifer in excess of 6 feet in height and well over 4 feet in width is $39...well within your stated price range mxk3?

Here is a link that might be useful: Conifer protector with drawstring and zipper

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jan 6, 13 at 22:31

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:28PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Okay, well get out the rubber hammer and give me my lumps - I didn't see the price was for a 10-pack.

So, yea, with that I'm on board :0)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:47PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Got me too!

But I find it silly to run around trying to protect your shrubs and trees, especially deciduous ones. I prefer to just let nature take its course but if I was trying to baby something or keep something not suited for my zone alive through winter, those are a good idea.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:43PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

This is the first year I didn't wrap my laceleaf Japanese maples - we'll see what happens... Usually that's all I wrap unless I've got a new specimen that I want to baby the first winter. There are many great winter-interest shrubs that are zone-hardy, I'd much rather plant that and enjoy the quiet beauty that winter holds than look at ugly burlap.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:23AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

nooo.. i was too stunned after seeing price alone.. that i could not focus on lot size..

besides the fact.. that i was at a retail hardware site... rather than a wholesale site ...

what got me about the pic above... one hit with the snowblower.. and i suspect its all over ... which then led me to a gardener would have planted a better situation [foreseen the problems]... in other words.. those plants do NOT belong there ... in snow country anyway .... probably a LArchitects bright idea ...

i mean really.. besides the snowblowing.. the salt.. the winter sun reflected off the pavement ... and nowhere to pile shoveled snow.. what is the brilliance of this planting ???? .. maybe they should have planted a banana .. tore down the garage.. and put in a conservatory.. there you go.. winter protection for a mere $10,000 ...

OMG!!! .. and that conifer protector.. really now.. would i want to look at that all winter.. the WHOLE POINT of conifers is WINTER INTEREST ... crimminey ... [and dont even get me started on proper placement of foundation plants ... lol]

well.. peeps can spend their money.. any way they want.. i dont have to approve in any sense ... i just remain mystified by it all..

[of course.. they say the same thing about a guy who has 500 conifers and 1500 hosta.. lol.. thats the pot calling the kettle black.. lol]

ken

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 7:29AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Nope. Not for, but I'm me. You're you.

Actually I think these are a slight - very slight- improvement on the burlap-wrapping thing. Lord, I hate those things. It makes the shrubs beneath look like mummies planted in the snow. And when you figure around here - in MN - the wrapping or covers stay on for almost 6 months of the year, that's just too much time devoted to ugliness.

Plus, I've grown to really dislike boring, seasonal chores. I try to limit them to as few as possible. Wrapping or covering shrubs each and every year could get old real fast. Just like digging cannas and dahlias every fall. I finally admitted I didn't want to do it any more and stopped growing those things.

I kind of miss the dahlias though, so I might - just might get a couple more this spring. But only a couple. No more. It wouldn't be too much effort to dig those in the fall.

Kevin

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:36AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Kevin, I am so poor at 'burlapping' that an alternative like shown here, which is super easy to use, is appealing. I do my best to use zone suitable plants but it is understandable one would want to protect any which are new to the ground...maybe in their first or second winter...until they are firmly established. These structures are perfectly reusable and so easy to store (they collapse to flat).

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:24AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Kevin, now that you are wintersowing (hint, hint) try dahlias from seed. They grow and bloom in one season, and you don't feel as bad about leaving them in the ground if you don't feel like digging up the tubers,since they are so much cheaper.

These covers are neat. Personally, I too prefer to grow zone appropriate shrubs that not only will survive without me, but that I can enjoy through the winter. Geez, I'm still mulching, never mind having to wrap shrubs, lol. But if I were to have something less zone-hardy than I should have, these would be definitely on my list to try. Easy to use, easy to store; my kinda thing!

Dee

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 3:22PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I am so poor at 'burlapping' that an alternative like shown here, which is super easy to use, is appealing.

==>> i solved this issue. by simply refusing to burlap..

what did NOT mind.. lived.

what did mind.. died..

no more burlapping ... it was like magic ... lol ...

crimminey man.. there is a universe of plants that do NOT need TLC.. find them.. plant them.. and get rid of the burlap ... in the alternative.. QUIT BUYING FOO FOO STUFF...

arent you the one who just mentioned.. in some other post.. that lack of space means new opportunity for your small garden..

and here you are saving foo foo carp ... come on man.. focus ...

ken

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 3:51PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Rhododendrons in my zone benefit from extra protection. A burlap barrier for some cedars near the road helps protect them from potential salt damage as salt is used extensively by the town during the winter months. Neither of these plants can be considered "FOO FOO".

Of course Ken, you have much to contribute to this forum but I think you really can benefit from the recently added "Edit Post" option.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:04PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Rhododendron often are foo-foo plants, by any reasonable definition of the word. They are temperamental, intolerant of a wide range of conditions, and difficult in places they are unhappy, which is most of North America.

By definition, zone appropriate plants do not need coddling. They are zone appropriate. Plants that do need coddling are not zone appropriate. What you choose to grow is up to you, but misusing words simply confuses people, and results in newbies thinking gardening is a lot more work than it needs to be.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:01PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Many Azaleas/rhodos are easily able to thrive in a zone 5.

Ours, instead of being located in a more sheltered location it was planted in the open. And so one might say it is in a possibly more severe micro-climate. With a small burlap wind break in place each late fall this "rhodo" has been healthy and happy for about 5 years and counting.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

he is messin with me.. lol ..

after 5 years.. why are you thinking your rhodie still needs protection .. just being an overly protective father???

hasnt it outgrow the 3 foot tall burlap????

ken

ps: anyone in the adrian area.. need a couple hundred feet of dry rotted burlap. .. its free for the taking .. lol .. along with a bunch of 4 foot 1 x 2's .... but i am keeping the staple gun.. sorry ...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

This looks like the plants are occupying this yard, protesting.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:48AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm on the side of protecting certain shrubs. Some might be prone to winter dessication, or vulnerable to structural damage from snow loads. I certainly wouldn't have a yard full of such plants but a thoughtful selection of a few interesting specimens will always have a place in my yard.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 1:24PM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Poor design. Why would you want to look at that all winter? Why would you plant a shrub that needs an ugly covering six months of the year?
It's like plastic on a sofa.
I zone push, including trees and shrubs. But I live here and my garden is still my garden whether it is winter or summer. And a shrub or tree that needs protection every year is not a fit candidate for my gardens when there are so many other beautiful hardy things I have yet to try.
Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 1:37PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

In my early days of gardening I was certainly the type to go out there and mulch, bundle plants up, etc. By the looks of it you would have thought we were expecting an Apocalyptic winter. Over the years my way of doing things has changed (i.e. I have become a bit of a lazy gardener, lol!) and am not interested in swaddling plants up against winter. I DO zone push on some things, but for the most part I want mostly all plants that can survive without need of extra protection.

But I can totally see the other side of it as well...

My neighbor (and other non-plant-freaks/gardeners) have commented to me that "gardening is too much work/trouble". I feel that a little bit of work can often reward one with a great deal of enjoyment. Bundeling/tenting/protecting a plant is kind of the same thing. You are willing to put in a little extra work to hopefully benefit from a spectacular plant that you might not have been able to get to survive had you not protected it.

If you think THAT is coddling you should read the section 'Where Others Fear to Tread' in Ken Druse's book 'The Collector's Garden'! Wowzer! The gardener featured here is really into Cypripedium/Lady Slippers. How much so you ask?

-he makes sure the soil isn't too hot to kill the mycorrhize they require, by planting at the base of large rocks to keep their roots cool
-he prepares the soil of some with gravel/clay/organic matter
-he feeds only with orchid food and mulches with polyethylene
-for those that like it boggy he lines the planting hole with polyethylene with holes at the bottom for drainage and fills with a special mix of sand and sphagnum
-for those that like alkaline soil he uses sand, loam, and adds horticultural lime until the pH is around 8

Never in a million years would I think of going to all this detailed work for a plant. BUT I suppose he gets enough of a kick from those (yeah, pretty awesome looking I must admit!) Lady Slippers to do all that...

The moral of my novella-sized post?? I would not personally go to all the work of protecting shrubs etc. BUT if you have something special or important enough for you to do a little more work for than why not? Whatever floats your boat as my mamma would say!! ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:28PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

IME, rhodies are quite hardy temperature-wise, but more fragile when it comes to winds, snow, etc. They can stand the cold but don't do so well in windy locations, or with heavy snow, so while I don't protect mine, I might understand why someone would, especially in an unprotected/open/windy situation, or if it is a more rare variety. Most of mine are the old, 20-foot tall monsters leftover from the 50's. Couldn't wrap 'em if I wanted to - they would look like a Christo piece, lol.

Well-put, rhizo.

LOL, purpleinopp!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 5:31PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

mxk3 wrote: I'd much rather plant that and enjoy the quiet beauty that winter holds than look at ugly burlap.

(I took this picture this morning...just a few minutes away from our house)

You mean you don't like the look of these burlapped monsters? ;)

(If I remember I will take the 'after' picture this summer)

(I am sure the town or subdivision builder spends the time and monies...that is a lot of burlap...to protect these trees due to the extra salt and such coming from the so close major thoroughfare).

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 11:18

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:40AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

OMG! They look like a group of KKK members waiting to cross the road. That be frightening!

Kevin

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Rogue, that's one of the fugliest things I've ever seen. The little tents definitely look better, but nothing at all would be preferable, IMO, JMHO, completely defeats the purpose of having evergreens. And the little mulch circles with no edges... why not just one big mulched area? Who would setup a mowing situation like that?

Isn't the salt is a soil issue? (In which case burlapping the foliage would do nothing to mitigate that.)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:15AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Rogue, that's one of the fugliest things I've ever seen

I knew you guys and gals would 'appreciate' this pic ;).

(None of the prefab 'tents' I linked would come even close to being large enough for these trees. In fact in the not too distant future these trees will be too large to be wrapped and they will need to fend for themselves).

About the salt...I am sure soil contamination is an issue but not as pronounced as direct contact with the foliage?

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 11:44

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Appreciate, LOL! Yes, fun. I really was asking about the salt, just as something to discuss theoretically... I've lived up north but on neighborhood streets, it's not usually much of an issue unless you try to garden the hell strip. As far as those trees are from the road, it doesn't look like the foliage should/would be getting pelted with it, and if there's a curb on the other side too, that should send most of the salt from the road running down the storm drain, not into the surrounding soil, but some could and surely does get plowed up there sometimes...

No matter what one thinks about the appearance of it, it is no doubt cool that it's possible to fool mother nature sometimes with tricks like these. I think we can all appreciate that. But be honest everyone, if part of your offense was to your sense of laziness, not just visual aesthetics. I admit both. Don't think I haven't micro-climate'ed in some unnatural looking ways. No different than wrapping a lemon tree in this area... when they're harvesting lemons, who gets the last laugh? I'm too lazy and uninterested to wrap evergreens or lemon trees, but if there was a possibility of harvesting chocolate, the neighbors would be looking at whatever weird thing it would take...

Are the little occupy tents from the original pic still in the same place? They're not moving any closer to the "hostile" dwelling are they?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:05AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

That picture is too much. The poor things - they look all huddled and cold, lol. It's like a group of women in burqas waiting to cross the street, or waiting for the bus.

Like I said, I can see if one has a special, not-so-hardy specimen that needs protecting, and certainly Purple's example of the lemon tree is worth protecting - after all, you have it to produce a fruit, not just for aesthetic entertainment. But for my personal use and enjoyment, I just wouldn't want something like that picture in my yard, especially not in such a visible spot. And yes, I am too lazy to do that, lol, but even if I weren't, it just wouldn't be what I'd want to look at all winter.

But to each her own... Thanks rouge!

Dee

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:44PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Sign me up for wrapping a chocolate tree! BUT it wouldn't be in the front yard. I don't understand how a tree planted for winter interest can be interesting wrapped in burlap. Do they eventually outgrow the need for wrapping? I don't mean in size, rather in resistance to die back.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:45PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Sign me up for wrapping a chocolate tree! BUT it wouldn't be in the front yard. I don't understand how a tree planted for winter interest can be interesting wrapped in burlap. Do they eventually outgrow the need for wrapping? I don't mean in size, rather in resistance to die back.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:46PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

mnwsgal wrote: Do they eventually outgrow the need for wrapping? I don't mean in size, rather in resistance to die back.,

Good point. Given their size I would think at the least 'they' should experiment ie leave *one* of these trees unprotected just to see what happens over the winter.

But I would have thought they these trees were already too big to wrap. But if not now then soon?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:11AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Does this variation of this product make using these 'tents' any more appealing? ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: decorative protectors!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:13AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Here is a picture of a home several streets over from my own that has provided some protection for its "Butterfly Bush" this winter.

I am a bit surprised to see this as I know in the past the homeowners have left it on its own to successfully fend for itself...I am not sure why the change this year.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:31AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Is that thing filled with leaves or something? If it isn't what good would it do? Maybe it's protection from rabbits although they could probably chew right through that stuff. Maybe not depending on what it's made of.

Weird

Kevin

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:36AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Maybe it's just marked in case of snow, so the plow doesn't get it...??

Dee

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:55AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Kevin, I actually don't know if anything is inside the burlap quadrangle but even if there is nothing it still provides protection does it not? I say this as one does similarly for rhodos and azaleas...providing a wind break rather than a tight wrap around as we see above for evergreens.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:22AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Dee that is a good surmise but it wouldnt be the case here. This BB is set back very far from the street and far away from the driveway and as you can see the owner correctly does not cut back the previous year's growth so it is well visible.

As I had mentioned I notice this BB each summer as it is quite large and provides spectacular flowers and I know it has not had this protection for the past few years. I may just ask the homeowner if the opportunity arises.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:27AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I'm not saying I'm right, but I still think that shrub is close enough to the driveway to get piled with shoveled snow, if it snows enough.

Is there a new homeowner...? Or maybe they recently got serious about gardening and have been doing some reading, lol...

Dee

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:53PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

UPDATE

I was able to speak directly to the homeowner:

Back in October, the remnants of Hurricane Sandy blew this Butterfly Bush over and according to the owner some of the roots of this quite established bush (well over 10 years old) were pulled up and exposed. They did their best to replant it and decided to give it some protection hoping that might get it through the winter and then it would re-establish itself through the growing season of 2013.

It will be interesting to see if it makes it after this trauma.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 8:45

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 8:05PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Ah.... well, let's hope it makes it through this winter!

Dee

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

This thread has been great fun to read! Those covers would be toast in any winter where we might get 3-4' of snow or an ice storm. And to think they now come with christmas lights built in to draw even more attention to them.

There are many shrubs that I've "thought" about purchasing knowing they would need some protection. I do suffer from a fairly bad case of zone envy every now and then, but more often than not, I put the idea out of my head and admire the shrubs in catalogs, online or in someone else's southern garden.

Now, if there were in fact a chocolate tree (mswngal, love that idea!)that could sprout a supply of Dove Dark all season, I would sign up for that and baby it year round no matter what it took!

As for those horrid burlap-wrapped shrubs, we just watched A Nightmare Before Christmas and those things look like the boogeyman in that movie!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:16AM
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