Desiccation – What is it and how to prevent it?

Tree Desiccation

Desiccation – What is it and how to prevent it?

By Taylor Crawford – Desiccation


Desiccation can happen due to lack of moisture, windy conditions, sudden rises in temperature come spring or a combination factors. Depending on the area, you have the possibility of receiving all 3 forms. Keeping your trees and shrubs hydrated during these times is the key to good health and longevity.


Desiccation is more prevalent in conifers and evergreens but can happen with deciduous species as well. So what can we do to help prevent desiccation? We can apply an anti-desiccant spray. Your plants will have an even better chance at fending off desiccation after one application every 2 weeks. The anti-desiccant spray is composed of a waxy membrane mixed in water that coats the foliage and helps the plant retain more moisture through its foliage all while slowing down its losses from evapotranspiration. We carry an anti-desiccant spray called Wilt-Pruf. The professional grade is called Transfilm for those who get their plants sprayed professionally. They are nontoxic and safe to apply. We highly encourage the usage of these sprays coupled with winter watering on new transplants. This is because desiccation is more prevalent on newer transplants because the plant doesn’t have the root system to support itself when nature throws us curve balls. In other words, some plants need a little more help with establishment.

Wilf Pruf

Watering is something we tell our customers to do anytime there are dry spells during the winter or early spring. This is when there is a lack of moisture present from natural forms or irrigation such as snowmelt, water from a downspout, or drainage from a neighbor to name just a few. We try to educate our customers by handing out watering and winter care guides. When the plant is receiving water and an anti-desiccant spray is applied, desiccation is minimized, and the tree receives little to no stress during these events. It is important to keep in mind the 3 forms of desiccation as each form can play a role in plant stress or dieback of a tree or shrub.

With over 15 years of expertise serving the Parker, Castle Rock, and Franktown regions, The Sprucery boasts 12,000+trees (including a large evergreen selection) and the ability to design, install, and maintain landscaping, The Sprucery Garden Center has always been so much more than a full-service tree nursery.

After visiting The Sprucery Garden Center and experiencing what they have to offer, you will have learned something new and be able to grow your favorite trees, shrubs, and flowers. Subsequently, this results in an outdoor space you can truly admire. Also to follow their journey join on Instagram at or the website here. Other blogs can be found here.

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