Burlap barriers like these can mitigate the damage from cold, drying winter winds. George Weigel
2. Give plants winter protection
Another helpful move is protecting tender, borderline-hardy, and/or wind-vulnerable plants with burlap shields.
Hammer stakes in the ground a few inches out from the wind-blown side of the plants, then staple burlap (or similar fabric) to them. This creates wind barriers as opposed to wrapping the plants with fabric, which denies light and can trap disease-promoting moisture on the foliage.
Stuffing the burlap protector with leaves or straw also buys a few extra degrees of protection to the buds of cold-sensitive deciduous (leaf-dropping) plants, such as bigleaf hydrangeas, crape myrtles, and figs.
Remove the barriers in spring.
Another product that some people use to head off winter-burn is an anti-transpirant/anti-desiccant spray. These resin-based sprays, applied two or three times over winter, are intended to slow moisture loss by coating the microscopic openings in plant leaves.
Research has been mixed on how well they work for cold and wind-burn protection, however.
In cases where foundation shrubs are likely targets of snow and ice sliding off roofs, small wooden-roofed structures can be erected over the top of the plants.
In areas where deer roam, fence barriers can be erected around susceptible plants to prevent both browsing (usually more prevalent in winter) and rubbing damage from bucks.
Fence or hardware-cloth wraps around the base of trees and shrubs can head off winter gnawing damage by rodents.
In the case of borderline-hardy shrubs and evergreens growing in pots, you have two winter-burn-protection options.
One is to move the potted plant to a protected spot over winter and water it whenever temperatures are above freezing and the soil is dry. Possibilities include a sun porch, an unheated garage that gets light over winter, and along a south- or east-facing house wall.