Just because winter is here, doesn’t mean ignoring the garden. The freezing process draws moisture out of a plant. The “polar vortices” of Wisconsin’s winters can be hard on certain evergreens, especially if they don’t get enough water in fall.
When hit with repeated cycles of very cold weather, plants like yews, boxwoods, rhododendrons, and even arborvitaes can lose too much moisture and have severe discoloration and die back. Since we don’t know what this winter is going to bring, better to be safe than sorry.
On days where the temperature is above freezing, apply an anti-transpirant such as Wilt Pruf or Wilt Stop on your susceptible evergreens. One application should be enough as long as you thoroughly cover the needles. The active ingredient is Pine Resin, which creates a flexible film on the needles to prevent moisture loss. You can also use it to extend the color on your holiday greenery, whether outside or indoors.