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Winter Injury on Conifers

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From: Sissy Ziech
Rochelle, IL
Sir, I wonder if you can recommend some conifers that don't suffer winter burn in Ogle County. I am new here and driving around, I see several white pine in the country don't bounce back from it until April! I hesitate to plant thuja because of the water needs they require. I did plant several Norway spruce, but need more diversity for reasons I am sure you are aware of!! I am studying the Soil and Conservation advice to effective wind screens, but even their advice includes evergreens that suffer from winter burn. I appreciate your help!

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Greetings Sissy,

Ah yes, good old winter injury (dessication of dormant foliage). As you indicated, white pine is susceptible to winter injury and salt damage from winter snow storms and bone-chilling winds - as are some other common conifers.

Winter injury of conifers can be greatly reduced by planting those species with good cold/wind hardiness and by planting tree species on appropriate sites and soils.

Please try the following University of Illinois Extension website to select conifers best adapted to wind tolerance:

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