injury to the leaves, bark, or underlying tissues of woody plants due to the combined effects of heat, humidity, and intense sunshine.

1850–55; sun + scald1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sunscald
Encyclopedia Britannica


common disorder of exposed, thin-barked trees, shrubs, and other plants. Dead patches form on the sun-exposed trunk and limbs of young trees, often those recently transplanted to open areas from nurseries where they were shaded by nearby trees. Evergreens and shrubs show scorched foliage and shoot dieback in dry, sunny, and windy spots, especially in very early spring. Control includes wrapping young tree trunks, applying whitewash, white latex paint, or an antidesiccant (to retard loss of plant moisture), and growing susceptible plants in more protected locations. Evergreens, especially in winter and very early spring, should be protected from too much sun and from cold, drying winds. Much sunscald injury can be avoided by watering plants thoroughly in dry autumns before the soil freezes and applying a mulch to keep the soil frozen until spring, when full-scale plant activity resumes and roots can provide the moisture the top growth requires. See also scorch.

Learn more about sunscald with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It may require careful siting in areas prone to drought and also to avoid
Sunscald lowers quality by making the melons less attractive and may cause them
  to rot.
All smooth bark deciduous tree trunks must be wrapped with waterproof paper
  according to specifications to prevent sunscald.
Recently isolated trees, in particular, are subject to wind throw on shallow
  soils and susceptible to winter sunscald.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature