Bright, cold days of winter can cause sunscald on thin-barked woody plants such as willows, aspen, mountain ash and maple.
The warmth of the sun heats the bark, essentially waking it from a dormancy. The sudden drop in night temperatures then kills the active bark. Bark will show signs of damage by turning color, splitting or shedding bark.
Protect your thin-barked trees with tree wrap in October or November, but be careful to remove it by April.
Originally published on November 4th, 2010. Updated on January 11th, 2022.