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Protection from climatic extremes

Wraps tightly secured to the trunk provide little buffering of climatic extremes, but they can provide some protection during shipping (Appleton 1993). Burlap and plastic devices are occasionally used as wraps. The most commonly used material, paper wrap, does not buffer temperatures as presumed (Litzow and Pellet 1983). There is little research that has validated the practice of wrapping or spraying the trunk to prevent sunscald. Trunk wrap probably does little harm to the tree provided it remains intact in winter and is removed the following spring along with any tape and string used to tie it on the trunk.

Use biodegradable or photodegradable material if possible. Some protection from the direct sun can be provided by short, temporary branches left along the lower trunk of transplanted trees. Sunscald on the south and southwest side of the trunk of thin-barked trees has been attributed more to lack of soil moisture following transplanting than to any other cause (Roppolo and Miller 2001). Injury commonly described as sunscald can have a variety of causes including trunk cracks resulting from improper pruning cuts, canker-forming fungi, and boring insects. Preventing sunscald may be as simple as irrigating regularly following planting and making appropriate pruning cuts.