Are these pop-up shrub protectors a reasonable alternative to burlap wrapping? This fall I am suddenly seeing them in various stores, and in a few local gardens, but I have been unable to talk to anyone who has used them. I have wrapped my rhododendrons in burlap in the past, but these look like a quick and easy alternative.
Thanks for your question about the NuVue winter shrub protection covers.
You are right that these now seem to be showing up in more garden centres and gardens. A quick internet search shows that while there are some people who really seem to like them, a few others have had complaints about longevity, sturdiness, etc. In some cases the sample sizes for reviews are quite small (check out reviews on Rona, Lowes and Canadian Tire websites).
Also, the Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend products or services – that is not within our mandate.
I suggest that if you want to try one or more of the tents you don’t do so on your most prized rhododendrons but perhaps on one or two that you consider less valuable — and then you can assess for yourself whether they work for you and stand the test of time, and how they compare to your traditional burlap-wrapping. You could also perhaps knock on the doors of homes where you see these being used and ask about their experiences, or rely on online reviews.
Another option is to contact Landscape Ontario (landscapeontario.com) and see if any of their members have used these tents for a while and can comment on their success, longevity, durability, etc.
Good luck; I hope your rhodos do well over the coming winter whatever form of protection you decide to give them.