This fall, don't forget to wrap newly planted trees to protect them from southwest injury.
Southwest injury, also known as sunscald, is a major winter problem for new transplants or thin-barked trees. During the late fall and early spring, Oklahoma gets frigid temperatures, following mild sunny days. As the trunk warms, the cells “thaw.” Then temperatures plunge once again as the sun begins to sink in the sky. This causes the cells to freeze again and rupture.
This damage is devastating to a young tree. The symptoms of sunscald are a vertical split or “puckering” that will be present on the southwest side of the trunk. However, you will not notice the damage until several years later, when it is too late.
Wrap trunks of tree species such as maples, fruit trees, willows, ash, locust, willow, and thin-barked oaks from November to March. Several materials are available to protect trunks. One of the most common materials is a plastic spiral wrap that encircles the trunk. These wraps have holes to allow air movement and are less likely to harbor pests. Another option is to wrap the trunk with burlap and secure it with twine. However, it is very important to remove the burlap and ties in spring, so as not to girdle the tree.
Tracey Payton Miller
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Pick from the sunny side of color wheel to warm up home interior
Q: Being without electric power many long, cold days after Superstorm Sandy, meant we have stayed at home longer than any time in memory, giving me plenty of time to study my house decor. I don't like it any more! It's almost all white — white walls, off-white upholstery, with bare, stained cement floors. What was I thinking to make it so cold? What can I do to warm things up?
A: Nothing like a natural disaster to make us appreciate the very concept of HOME. You are motivated to turn up the coziness thermostat in your everyday environment.
How? Color comes first. White is cool, in every sense of the word, so for warmth, you need to punch up your palette. Pick from the sunny side of the color wheel: yellows, reds, oranges. And pull in plenty of textures, the more extroverted, the better.
Look what designer Amanda Nisbet does with nubby, boiled wool in her own New York apartment. She writes in her new book, “Dazzling Design,” that it is “Just the sort of scrumptious material you'd want to wrap yourself in to feel warm and protected.
And it spoke in one of the warmest, most inviting hues: orange.
Rose Bennett Gilbert