Photo from WGRZ in Buffalo NY
(WZZM) - The sun does a lot of damage in the winter, for example on a Japanese Maple. The sun shines on the south and west side of the tree, and then it gets cold at night. The bark expands and contracts and then splits. That's why you should wrap young trees. It reflects the heat and prevents animals from nibbling on it.
The low sun in the winter can also damage your evergreen plants, like broadleaf hollys. The plants transpire and can't get water up to the leaves and they dry out. Greenthumb Rick Vuyst recommends you spray them with antidesiccants to keep the moisture in the leaves.
In winter, deciduous trees drop their leaves, so it's a perfect time to see the branches. Check out the structure of them and if they need pruning, this is the time to do so.
If we don't get a lot of snow in the winter, our perennial plants may push up out of the ground due to the thawing and freezing back and forth. This could expose the roots, so you'll want to put down a layer of mulch to try and keep the temperature more consistent. Snow cover will help with this problem and keep the temperatures more consistent. That's the good news, but the snow cover allows for more vole damage because they like to hide out under the snow and eat our plants.