To burlap potted cedars on a windy roof-top patio; or not

(Question)

We have 5 foot cedars planted in Europlast plastic pots (23″ tall and are 2 feet wide on the top). They are on a roof-top patio, about 45 feet above grade, and are exposed to a westerly wind that blows down the street, hits our building, and tsunamis over the patio, often knocking the pots with cedars over (in the fall / winter). For the winter, I pull the pots away from the leading edge of the roof, huddle them together against a wall, and burlap them, wrapping the burlap directly on the cedars. There is no room to build an inverted teepee over the cedars in the pots.

It has been suggested to me that the burlapping is not necessary. What is your opinion?

(Answer)

All the references I have checked refer to insulating the container rather than the plant itself.  The freeze/thaw cycles typical of our winters can damage the roots in a container, thus causing the plant to suffer.  Pulling your plants into a protected corner certainly helps and if wrapping them with burlap has helped to ensure their survival in the past so why change your method now?  For the little effort that wrapping with burlap is, it can only help.  Keep doing what you’re doing, it works and don’t forget to water the cedars until the soil freezes so that they can have enough moisture retention to withstand the winter.